Science.gov

Sample records for natural background approach

  1. Teaching about Natural Background Radiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Azmi, Darwish; Karunakara, N.; Mustapha, Amidu O.

    2013-01-01

    Ambient gamma dose rates in air were measured at different locations (indoors and outdoors) to demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of natural background radiation in the environment and to show that levels vary from one location to another, depending on the underlying geology. The effect of a lead shield on a gamma radiation field was also…

  2. Teaching about natural background radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Azmi, Darwish; Karunakara, N.; Mustapha, Amidu O.

    2013-07-01

    Ambient gamma dose rates in air were measured at different locations (indoors and outdoors) to demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of natural background radiation in the environment and to show that levels vary from one location to another, depending on the underlying geology. The effect of a lead shield on a gamma radiation field was also demonstrated to emphasize the important role of shielding in radiation protection. The measurements were carried out with a Geiger-Muller (GM)-based dosimeter and a NaI scintillation gamma-ray spectrometer, which are normally available in physics laboratories. Radioactivity in household materials was demonstrated using a gas mantle as an example.

  3. Ambient background particulate composition, outdoor natural background: interferents/clutter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paterno, Dorothea

    2012-06-01

    It has proven a very difficult task to discriminate an actual BW threat from the natural occurring ambient particulate aerosol, which includes a significant fraction of particles consisting of mixed mineral and biological material. The interferent particles [clutter] (bio and non bio) concentration varies widely both by location, weather and season and diurnally. Naturally occurring background particulates are composed of fungal and bacterial spores both fragments and components, plant fragments and debris, animal fragments and debris, all of which may be associated with inert dust or combustion material. Some or all of which could also be considered to be an interferent to a biological warfare detector and cause these biodector systems to cause False Alarms by non specific BW bio detectors. I will share analysis of current long term background data sets.

  4. Speech recognition in natural background noise.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2013-01-01

    In the real world, human speech recognition nearly always involves listening in background noise. The impact of such noise on speech signals and on intelligibility performance increases with the separation of the listener from the speaker. The present behavioral experiment provides an overview of the effects of such acoustic disturbances on speech perception in conditions approaching ecologically valid contexts. We analysed the intelligibility loss in spoken word lists with increasing listener-to-speaker distance in a typical low-level natural background noise. The noise was combined with the simple spherical amplitude attenuation due to distance, basically changing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Therefore, our study draws attention to some of the most basic environmental constraints that have pervaded spoken communication throughout human history. We evaluated the ability of native French participants to recognize French monosyllabic words (spoken at 65.3 dB(A), reference at 1 meter) at distances between 11 to 33 meters, which corresponded to the SNRs most revealing of the progressive effect of the selected natural noise (-8.8 dB to -18.4 dB). Our results showed that in such conditions, identity of vowels is mostly preserved, with the striking peculiarity of the absence of confusion in vowels. The results also confirmed the functional role of consonants during lexical identification. The extensive analysis of recognition scores, confusion patterns and associated acoustic cues revealed that sonorant, sibilant and burst properties were the most important parameters influencing phoneme recognition. . Altogether these analyses allowed us to extract a resistance scale from consonant recognition scores. We also identified specific perceptual consonant confusion groups depending of the place in the words (onset vs. coda). Finally our data suggested that listeners may access some acoustic cues of the CV transition, opening interesting perspectives for future studies

  5. Speech Recognition in Natural Background Noise

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2013-01-01

    In the real world, human speech recognition nearly always involves listening in background noise. The impact of such noise on speech signals and on intelligibility performance increases with the separation of the listener from the speaker. The present behavioral experiment provides an overview of the effects of such acoustic disturbances on speech perception in conditions approaching ecologically valid contexts. We analysed the intelligibility loss in spoken word lists with increasing listener-to-speaker distance in a typical low-level natural background noise. The noise was combined with the simple spherical amplitude attenuation due to distance, basically changing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Therefore, our study draws attention to some of the most basic environmental constraints that have pervaded spoken communication throughout human history. We evaluated the ability of native French participants to recognize French monosyllabic words (spoken at 65.3 dB(A), reference at 1 meter) at distances between 11 to 33 meters, which corresponded to the SNRs most revealing of the progressive effect of the selected natural noise (−8.8 dB to −18.4 dB). Our results showed that in such conditions, identity of vowels is mostly preserved, with the striking peculiarity of the absence of confusion in vowels. The results also confirmed the functional role of consonants during lexical identification. The extensive analysis of recognition scores, confusion patterns and associated acoustic cues revealed that sonorant, sibilant and burst properties were the most important parameters influencing phoneme recognition. . Altogether these analyses allowed us to extract a resistance scale from consonant recognition scores. We also identified specific perceptual consonant confusion groups depending of the place in the words (onset vs. coda). Finally our data suggested that listeners may access some acoustic cues of the CV transition, opening interesting perspectives for future studies

  6. A review on natural background radiation

    PubMed Central

    Shahbazi-Gahrouei, Daryoush; Gholami, Mehrdad; Setayandeh, Samaneh

    2013-01-01

    The world is naturally radioactive and approximately 82% of human-absorbed radiation doses, which are out of control, arise from natural sources such as cosmic, terrestrial, and exposure from inhalation or intake radiation sources. In recent years, several international studies have been carried out, which have reported different values regarding the effect of background radiation on human health. Gamma radiation emitted from natural sources (background radiation) is largely due to primordial radionuclides, mainly 232Th and 238U series, and their decay products, as well as 40K, which exist at trace levels in the earth's crust. Their concentrations in soil, sands, and rocks depend on the local geology of each region in the world. Naturally occurring radioactive materials generally contain terrestrial-origin radionuclides, left over since the creation of the earth. In addition, the existence of some springs and quarries increases the dose rate of background radiation in some regions that are known as high level background radiation regions. The type of building materials used in houses can also affect the dose rate of background radiations. The present review article was carried out to consider all of the natural radiations, including cosmic, terrestrial, and food radiation. PMID:24223380

  7. Natural inflation in 5D warped backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González Felipe, R.; Santos, N. M. C.

    2008-07-01

    In light of the five-year data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), we discuss models of inflation based on the pseudo Nambu-Goldstone potential predicted in five-dimensional gauge theories for different backgrounds: flat Minkowski, anti de Sitter, and dilatonic spacetime. In this framework, the inflaton potential is naturally flat due to shift symmetries and the mass scales associated with it are related to 5D geometrical quantities.

  8. Natural radiation background in metropolitan Taipei.

    PubMed

    Weng, P S; Chu, T C; Chen, C F

    1991-06-01

    A high-pressure ionization chamber was used to measure the natural background radiation in metropolitan Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. during a period in 1987-1988. The average exposure rate was 27.55 x 10(-10) C kg-1 h-1 including cosmic radiation, but the radon contribution was excluded. Scintillation survey meter, gamma-ray spectroscopy for soil samples, in-situ measurement with a NaI(Tl) detector coupled to a portable multichannel analyzer, instrumental neutron activation analysis of rock samples, and even thermoluminescent dosimeters were used as complementary measuring devices. Areas of higher radiation background were detected. They are the radium-bearing Peitou stones, an unusual occurrence of uraniferous zone at Sanhsia, and uranium precipitation in the glassy olivine basalt in a tea field at Tachi. All these areas are located in suburban sites of Taipei. Three types of building in Taipei City were selected for radon detection. No significantly elevated level of radon was detected, since Taipei is located in a semitropical area where ventilation of buildings is not a problem. PMID:1941767

  9. Sinning against nature: the theory of background conditions

    PubMed Central

    Blackford, R

    2006-01-01

    Debates about the moral and political acceptability of particular sexual practices and new technologies often include appeals to a supposed imperative to follow nature. If nature is understood as the totality of all phenomena or as those things that are not artificial, there is little prospect of developing a successful argument to impugn interference with it or sinning against it. At the same time, there are serious difficulties with approaches that seek to identify "proper" human functioning. An alternative approach is to understand interference with nature as acting in a manner that threatens basic background conditions to human choice. Arguably, the theory of background conditions helps explain much of the hostility to practices and technologies that allegedly sin against nature. The theory does not, however, entail that appeals to nature are relevant or rational. Such appeals should be subjected to sceptical scrutiny. Indeed, the theory suggests that arguments against practices and technologies that can be seen as contrary to nature sometimes exercise a psychological attraction that is disproportional to their actual cogency. PMID:17074819

  10. Chromo-natural model in anisotropic background

    SciTech Connect

    Maleknejad, Azadeh; Erfani, Encieh E-mail: eerfani@ipm.ir

    2014-03-01

    In this work we study the chromo-natural inflation model in the anisotropic setup. Initiating inflation from Bianchi type-I cosmology, we analyze the system thoroughly during the slow-roll inflation, from both analytical and numerical points of view. We show that the isotropic FRW inflation is an attractor of the system. In other words, anisotropies are damped within few e-folds and the chromo-natural model respects the cosmic no-hair conjecture. Furthermore, we demonstrate that in the slow-roll limit, the anisotropies in both chromo-natural and gauge-flation models share the same dynamics.

  11. Assessment of natural background levels in potentially contaminated coastal aquifers.

    PubMed

    Molinari, A; Chidichimo, F; Straface, S; Guadagnini, A

    2014-04-01

    The estimation of natural background levels (NBLs) of dissolved concentrations of target chemical species in subsurface reservoirs relies on a proper assessment of the effects of forcing terms driving flow and transport processes taking place within the system and whose dynamics drive background concentration values. We propose coupling methodologies based on (a) global statistical analyses and (b) numerical modeling of system dynamics to distinguish between the impacts of different types of external forcing components influencing background concentration values. We focus on the joint application of a statistical methodology based on Component Separation and experimental/numerical modeling studies of groundwater flow and transport for the NBL estimation of selected chemical species in potentially contaminated coastal aquifers. We consider a site which is located in Calabria, Italy, and constitutes a typical example of a Mediterranean coastal aquifer which has been subject to intense industrial development. Our study is keyed to the characterization of NBLs of manganese and sulfate and is geared to the proper identification of the importance of a natural external forcing (i.e., seawater intrusion) on NBL assessment. Results from the Component Separation statistical approach are complemented by numerical simulations of the advective-dispersive processes that could influence the distribution of chemical species (i.e., sulfate) within the system. Estimated NBLs for manganese are consistent with the geochemical composition of soil samples. While Component Separation ascribes the largest detected sulfate concentrations to anthropogenic sources, our numerical modeling analysis suggests that they are mainly related to the natural process of seawater intrusion. Our results indicate that the use of statistical methodologies in complex groundwater systems should be assisted by a detailed characterization of the dynamics of natural (and/or induced) processes to distinguish

  12. Dual-tracer background subtraction approach for fluorescent molecular tomography

    PubMed Central

    Holt, Robert W.; El-Ghussein, Fadi; Davis, Scott C.; Samkoe, Kimberley S.; Gunn, Jason R.; Leblond, Frederic

    2013-01-01

    Abstract. Diffuse fluorescence tomography requires high contrast-to-background ratios to accurately reconstruct inclusions of interest. This is a problem when imaging the uptake of fluorescently labeled molecularly targeted tracers in tissue, which can result in high levels of heterogeneously distributed background uptake. We present a dual-tracer background subtraction approach, wherein signal from the uptake of an untargeted tracer is subtracted from targeted tracer signal prior to image reconstruction, resulting in maps of targeted tracer binding. The approach is demonstrated in simulations, a phantom study, and in a mouse glioma imaging study, demonstrating substantial improvement over conventional and homogenous background subtraction image reconstruction approaches. PMID:23292612

  13. Study of Natural Background Radiation around Gurvanbulag Uranium Deposit Area

    SciTech Connect

    Enkhbat, N.; Norov, N.; Khuukhenkhuu, G.; Otgooloi, B.; Bat-Erdene, B.

    2009-03-31

    In this work, we will show the study of natural background radiation level around the Gurvanbulag (GB) uranium deposit area in the eastern part of Mongolia. We collected environmental soil samples from 102 points around GB Uranium deposit. Collected samples were measured by HPGe gamma spectrometer at Nuclear Research Center, National University of Mongolia. The averaged activity concentrations of Ra-226, Th-232, K-40, and Cs-137 were 37.1, 29, 939, and 17.7 Bq/kg, respectively.

  14. Simulation of natural radioactivity backgrounds in the JUNO central detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xin-Ying; Deng, Zi-Yan; Wen, Liang-Jian; Li, Wei-Dong; You, Zheng-Yun; Yu, Chun-Xu; Zhang, Yu-Mei; Lin, Tao

    2016-02-01

    The Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO) is an experiment proposed to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy and probe the fundamental properties of neutrino oscillation. The JUNO central detector is a spherical liquid scintillator detector with 20 kton fiducial mass. It is required to achieve a energy resolution with very low radioactive background, which is a big challenge to the detector design. In order to ensure the detector performance can meet the physics requirements, reliable detector simulation is necessary to provide useful information for the detector design. A simulation study of natural radioactivity backgrounds in the JUNO central detector has been performed to guide the detector design and set requirements for the radio-purity of the detector materials. The accidental background induced by natural radioactivity in the JUNO central detector is 1.1/day. The result is satisfied for the experiment. Supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA10010900), CAS Center for Excellence in Particle Physics (CCEPP), National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Large-Scale Scientific Facility Program, Joint Large-Scale Scientific Facility Funds of NSFC and CAS (U1332201)

  15. Image Discrimination Models Predict Object Detection in Natural Backgrounds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahumada, Albert J., Jr.; Rohaly, A. M.; Watson, Andrew B.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Object detection involves looking for one of a large set of object sub-images in a large set of background images. Image discrimination models only predict the probability that an observer will detect a difference between two images. In a recent study based on only six different images, we found that discrimination models can predict the relative detectability of objects in those images, suggesting that these simpler models may be useful in some object detection applications. Here we replicate this result using a new, larger set of images. Fifteen images of a vehicle in an other-wise natural setting were altered to remove the vehicle and mixed with the original image in a proportion chosen to make the target neither perfectly recognizable nor unrecognizable. The target was also rotated about a vertical axis through its center and mixed with the background. Sixteen observers rated these 30 target images and the 15 background-only images for the presence of a vehicle. The likelihoods of the observer responses were computed from a Thurstone scaling model with the assumption that the detectabilities are proportional to the predictions of an image discrimination model. Three image discrimination models were used: a cortex transform model, a single channel model with a contrast sensitivity function filter, and the Root-Mean-Square (RMS) difference of the digital target and background-only images. As in the previous study, the cortex transform model performed best; the RMS difference predictor was second best; and last, but still a reasonable predictor, was the single channel model. Image discrimination models can predict the relative detectabilities of objects in natural backgrounds.

  16. An analytical approach for treating background in spectral analysis measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Ian; Holmes, Thomas W.; Gardner, Robin P.

    2015-11-01

    A method of determining the spectral shape of background radiation present in experimental spectra via a mathematical approach is presented. Elements of interest will be subtracted from an experimental spectrum using the linear correlation coefficient across a characteristic peak to determine their contribution. Once all elements of interest are removed, the remainder of the experimental spectrum should represent an approximation of the background. This approximation can then be used in conjunction with library least-squares to determine the background and elemental contributions to the unknown spectrum.

  17. Measurement of the natural radiation background level of Riyadh City

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Kusayer, T.A.; Al-Haj, A.N.

    1987-01-01

    A gamma spectroscopy system was used to analyze the radionuclides in soil samples and to determine the cumulative radioactivity of terrestrial origin in the Riyadh City area. Minimal work has been done in the 1980s to measure the natural background radiation level in Saudi Arabia by using thermoluminescent dosimeters. The measurement of the natural radioactivity in the Riyadh area for the radionuclide concentration in becquerels per kilogram, the exposure rate arising from radionuclides in grays per hour, and the equivalent dose rate in sieverts per hour are the goals of this work. Soil samples were collected from 21 places in Riyadh City. Each site was sampled for two depth profiles, 0 to 5 cm and 5 to 15 cm. These measurements were taken before the Chernobyl accident, and in the absence of any measurements for that area in the past, this work can be considered in future work for a reference /sup 137/Cs concentration in Riyadh soil to determine the /sup 137/Cs increase in the soil after the Chernobyl accident.

  18. In-mine testing of a natural background sensor, part B

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martzloff, F. D.

    1981-01-01

    The capability of a natural background sensor for measuring the thickness of top coal on a longwall face was examined. The limitations on the time during which tests could be performed, and the roof conditions, did not produce readings of top coal measurements during the shearer operation. It was demonstrated that the system is capable to survive operating conditions in the mine environment, while the static tests confirmed that the natural background sensor approach is a valid method of measuring top coal thickness in mines where the roof rock provides a constant radiation level. It is concluded that the practical results will improve sequent development of an integrated vertical control system which is information from the natural background system.

  19. Using epicenter location to differentiate events from natural background seismicity

    SciTech Connect

    Myers, S C; Walter, W R

    1999-07-26

    Efforts to more effectively monitor the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (commonly referred to as the CTBT) include research into methods of seismic discrimination. The most common seismic discriminants exploit differences in seismic amplitude for differing source types. Amplitude discriminants are quite effective when wave-propagation (a.k.a. path) effects are properly accounted for. However, because path effects can be exceedingly complex, path calibration is often accomplished empirically by spatially interpolating amplitude characteristics for a set of calibration earthquakes with techniques like Bayesian kriging. As a result, amplitude discriminants can be highly effective when natural seismicity provides sufficient event coverage to characterize a region. However, amplitude discrimination can become less effective for events that are far from historical (path-calibration) events. It is intuitive that events occurring at a distance from historical seismicity patterns are inherently suspect. However, quantifying the degree to which a particular event is unexpected could be of great utility in CTBT monitoring. Epicenter location is commonly used as a qualitative discriminant. For instance, if a seismic event is located in the deep ocean, then the event is generally considered to be an earthquake. Such qualitative uses of seismic location have great utility; however, a quantitative method to differentiate events from the natural pattern of seismicity could significantly advance the applicability of location as a discriminant for source type. Clustering of earthquake epicenters is the underlying aspect of earthquake seismicity that allows for an epicenter-based discriminant, and we explore the use of fractal characterization of clustering to characterize seismicity patters. We then evaluate the likelihood that an event at any given location is drawn from the background population. The use of this technique can help to identifying events that are inconsistent

  20. The nature of the Diffuse Gamma-Ray Background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fornasa, Mattia; Sánchez-Conde, Miguel A.

    2015-10-01

    We review the current understanding of the Diffuse Gamma-Ray Background (DGRB). The DGRB is what remains of the total measured gamma-ray emission after the subtraction of the resolved sources and of the diffuse Galactic foregrounds. It is interpreted as the cumulative emission of sources that are not bright enough to be detected individually. Yet, its exact composition remains unveiled. Well-established astrophysical source populations (e.g. blazars, misaligned AGNs, star-forming galaxies and millisecond pulsars) all represent guaranteed contributors to the DGRB. More exotic scenarios, such as Dark Matter annihilation or decay, may contribute as well. In this review, we describe how these components have been modeled in the literature and how the DGRB can be used to provide valuable information on each of them. We summarize the observational information currently available on the DGRB, paying particular attention to the most recent measurement of its intensity energy spectrum by the Fermi LAT Collaboration. We also discuss the novel analyses of the auto-correlation angular power spectrum of the DGRB and of its cross-correlation with tracers of the large-scale structure of the Universe. New data sets already (or soon) available are expected to provide further insight on the nature of this emission. By summarizing where we stand on the current knowledge of the DGRB, this review is intended both as a useful reference for those interested in the topic and as a means to trigger new ideas for further research.

  1. Estimating natural background groundwater chemistry, Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Verplanck, Phillip L.; Nordstrom, D Kirk; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Walker, Bruce M.

    2010-01-01

    This 2 1/2 day field trip will present an overview of a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) project whose objective was to estimate pre-mining groundwater chemistry at the Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico. Because of intense debate among stakeholders regarding pre-mining groundwater chemistry standards, the New Mexico Environment Department and Chevron Mining Inc. (formerly Molycorp) agreed that the USGS should determine pre-mining groundwater quality at the site. In 2001, the USGS began a 5-year, multidisciplinary investigation to estimate pre-mining groundwater chemistry utilizing a detailed assessment of a proximal natural analog site and applied an interdisciplinary approach to infer pre-mining conditions. The trip will include a surface tour of the Questa mine and key locations in the erosion scar areas and along the Red River. The trip will provide participants with a detailed understanding of geochemical processes that influence pre-mining environmental baselines in mineralized areas and estimation techniques for determining pre-mining baseline conditions.

  2. A novel approach to model EPIC variable background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marelli, M.; De Luca, A.; Salvetti, D.; Belfiore, A.; Pizzocaro, D.

    2016-06-01

    In the past years XMM-Newton revolutionized our way to look at the X-ray sky. With more than 200 Ms of exposure, it allowed for numerous discoveries in every field of astronomy. Unfortunately, about 35% of the observing time is badly affected by soft proton flares, with background increasing by orders of magnitudes hampering any classical analysis of field sources. One of the main aim of the EXTraS ("Exploring the X-ray Transient and variable Sky") project is to characterise the variability of XMM-Newton sources within each single observation, including periods of high background. This posed severe challenges. I will describe a novel approach that we implemented within the EXTraS project to produce background-subtracted light curves, that allows to treat the case of very faint sources and very large proton flares. EXTraS light curves will be soon released to the community, together with new tools that will allow the user to reproduce EXTraS results, as well as to extend a similar analysis to future data. Results of this work (including an unprecedented characterisation of the soft proton phenomenon and instrument response) will also serve as a reference for future missions and will be particularly relevant for the Athena observatory.

  3. Is natural background or radiation from nuclear power plants leukemogenic

    SciTech Connect

    Cronkite, E.P.

    1989-01-01

    The objective in this review is to provide some facts about normal hemopoietic cell proliferation relevant to leukemogenesis, physical, chemical, and biological facts about radiation effects with the hope that each person will be able to decide for themselves whether background radiation or emissions from nuclear power plants and facilities significantly add to the spontaneous leukemia incidence. 23 refs., 1 tab.

  4. Social Studies: Their Nature and Potential. Background Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wronski, Stanley P.

    The nature of the social studies and their international dimensions are examined. Discussion focuses on the definition of the social studies and the role of knowledge and ways of knowing in the social studies. In contrast to the social sciences, the social studies are designed primarily for instructional purposes. They include the substantive…

  5. Natural approach to quantum dissipation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taj, David; Öttinger, Hans Christian

    2015-12-01

    The dissipative dynamics of a quantum system weakly coupled to one or several reservoirs is usually described in terms of a Lindblad generator. The popularity of this approach is certainly due to the linear character of the latter. However, while such linearity finds justification from an underlying Hamiltonian evolution in some scaling limit, it does not rely on solid physical motivations at small but finite values of the coupling constants, where the generator is typically used for applications. The Markovian quantum master equations we propose are instead supported by very natural thermodynamic arguments. They themselves arise from Markovian master equations for the system and the environment which preserve factorized states and mean energy and generate entropy at a non-negative rate. The dissipative structure is driven by an entropic map, called modular, which introduces nonlinearity. The generated modular dynamical semigroup (MDS) guarantees for the positivity of the time evolved state the correct steady state properties, the positivity of the entropy production, and a positive Onsager matrix with symmetry relations arising from Green-Kubo formulas. We show that the celebrated Davies Lindblad generator, obtained through the Born and the secular approximations, generates a MDS. In doing so we also provide a nonlinear MDS which is supported by a weak coupling argument and is free from the limitations of the Davies generator.

  6. Anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background: an analytic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Wayne; Sugiyama, Naoshi

    1995-05-01

    We introduce a conceptually simple yet powerful analytic method which traces the structure of cosmic microwave background anisotropies to better than 5%-10% in temperature fluctuations on all scales. It is applicable to any model in which the gravitational potential is known and last scattering is sufficiently early. Moreover, it recovers and explains the presence of the 'Doppler peaks' at degree scales as driven acoustic oscillations of the photon-baryon fluid. We treat in detail such subtleties as the time dependence of the gravitational driving force, anisotropic stress from the neutrino quadrupole, and damping during the recombination process, again all from an analytic standpoint. We apply this formalism to the standard cold dark matter model to gain physical insight into the anisotropies, including the dependence of the peak locations and heights on cosmological parameters such as Omegab and h. Furthermore, the ionization history controls damping due to the finite thickness of the last scattering surface, which is in fact mianly caused by photon diffusion. In addition to being a powerful probe into the nature of anisotropies, this treatment can be used in place of the standard Boltzmann code where 5%-10% accuracy in temperature fluctuations is satisfactory and/or speed is essential. Equally importantly, it can be used as a portable standard by which numerical codes can be tested and compared.

  7. The natural approach to osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Bartolozzi, Emanuela

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is normally the result of a wrong life-style (diet, physical inactivity, smoke, dental hygiene, intestinal dysbiosis,…) and environmental toxicity which stimulate the chronic expression of inflammatory genes and alter the immuno-endocrine balance. A natural approch should face all the factors involved, leading the patients to become aware of their own responsability, and helping them with natural therapies, healthy food and life-style which support their body in the process of self-healing. PMID:26604935

  8. The natural approach to osteoporosis

    PubMed Central

    Bartolozzi, Emanuela

    2015-01-01

    Summary Osteoporosis is normally the result of a wrong life-style (diet, physical inactivity, smoke, dental hygiene, intestinal dysbiosis,…) and environmental toxicity which stimulate the chronic expression of inflammatory genes and alter the immuno-endocrine balance. A natural approch should face all the factors involved, leading the patients to become aware of their own responsability, and helping them with natural therapies, healthy food and life-style which support their body in the process of self-healing. PMID:26604935

  9. Pixel detectors in double beta decay experiments, a new approach for background reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jose, J. M.; Čermák, P.; Štekl, I.; Shitov, Yu. A.; Rukhadze, E. N.; Rukhadze, N. I.; Brudanin, V. B.; Fiederle, M.; Fauler, A.; Loaiza, P.

    2013-08-01

    Double beta decay (ββ) experiments are challenging frontiers in contemporary physics. These experiments have the potential to investigate more about neutrinos (eg. nature and mass). The main challenge for these experiments is the reduction of background. The group at IEAP, CTU in Prague is investigating a new approach using pixel detectors Timepix. Pixel detector offer background reduction capabilities with its ability to identify the particle interaction (from the 2D signature it generates). However, use of pixel detectors has some challenges such as the presence of readout electronics near the sensing medium and heat dissipation. Different aspects of pixel setup (identification of radio-impurities, selection of radio-pure materials) and proposed experimental setup are presented. Also, results of preliminary background measurements (performed on the surface and in the underground laboratories) using the prototype setups are presented.

  10. Synthesized performance model of thermal imaging systems based on natural background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Song-lin; Wang, Ji-hui; Wang, Xiao-wei; Jin, Wei-qi

    2013-09-01

    The impact of nature environment on the synthesized performance of thermal imaging systems was researched comparing with the targeting task performance (TTP) model. A nature background noise factor was presented and introduced into the minimum resolvable temperature difference channel width (MRTD-CW) model. The method for determining the nature background noise factor was given. A information quantity model based on MRTD-CW model was proposed to evaluate the impact of nature environment on the synthesized performance of thermal imaging systems. A normalized parameter was introduced into the information quantity model. Different background experiments were performed, and the results were analyzed and compared with those of TTP model.

  11. Improved radiological/nuclear source localization in variable NORM background: An MLEM approach with segmentation data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penny, Robert D.; Crowley, Tanya M.; Gardner, Barbara M.; Mandell, Myron J.; Guo, Yanlin; Haas, Eric B.; Knize, Duane J.; Kuharski, Robert A.; Ranta, Dale; Shyffer, Ryan; Labov, Simon; Nelson, Karl; Seilhan, Brandon; Valentine, John D.

    2015-06-01

    A novel approach and algorithm have been developed to rapidly detect and localize both moving and static radiological/nuclear (R/N) sources from an airborne platform. Current aerial systems with radiological sensors are limited in their ability to compensate for variable naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) background. The proposed approach suppresses the effects of NORM background by incorporating additional information to segment the survey area into regions over which the background is likely to be uniform. The method produces pixelated Source Activity Maps (SAMs) of both target and background radionuclide activity over the survey area. The task of producing the SAMs requires (1) the development of a forward model which describes the transformation of radionuclide activity to detector measurements and (2) the solution of the associated inverse problem. The inverse problem is ill-posed as there are typically fewer measurements than unknowns. In addition the measurements are subject to Poisson statistical noise. The Maximum-Likelihood Expectation-Maximization (MLEM) algorithm is used to solve the inverse problem as it is well suited for under-determined problems corrupted by Poisson noise. A priori terrain information is incorporated to segment the reconstruction space into regions within which we constrain NORM background activity to be uniform. Descriptions of the algorithm and examples of performance with and without segmentation on simulated data are presented.

  12. An approach of reducing the background induced by neutrons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shen, C.; Gu, Y.; Sun, Y.; Ma, Y.; Dai, C.; Fan, Z.

    1985-01-01

    The background induced by interactions of neutrons with detector material (and shield material) is difficult to be rejected. It is one of the most important factors to affect the sensitivity of a balloon-borne gamma-ray astronomical telescope. The main component of neutron flux at the major detector of the telescope is incident neutrons, that consists of atmospheric neutrons and neutrons locally produced in the balloon platform. Therefore, shielding the detector from incident neutrons is a possible way to reduce the background. NaI (T1) crystal is very widely used in gamma-ray astronomical telescopes. Through balloon-borne experiment it is shown that up 6 LiF shield is effective to reduce the background in NaI crystal.

  13. Multidisciplinary approach in natural hazards: avoiding misunderstandings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angignard, M.

    2009-04-01

    It is today widely recognised that a multidisciplinary approach is worthwhile when it comes to natural hazards. While the knowledge of scientists from different fields about those problematic is getting deeper everyday, the need for a brighter understanding of natural hazards and the risk they induce becomes more and more obvious. A risk situation cannot be limited to a single scientific field. It involves many components, each of them studied by a specific science. The understanding of the whole question of risk requires a dialogue between those sciences. The large amount of research projects based on a multidisciplinary approach shows that this need for dialogue is known and accepted. However, the participants of such projects encounter a problem in communication: they do not speak the same language. Even though scientists are willing to share with colleagues from other fields, they are facing the hinder of the specific terminology they use in their work. Social scientists, natural scientists and engineering scientists do not speak the same language, although they might use the same words. For instance, basic terms like "risk", "vulnerability", or concepts like "risk management" or "governance" might have very different meanings according to the scientists involved. The approach of risk situation itself is specific to each science. How can this hindrance be avoided? The first step of every research project (and further, every work in group on a risk related situation) could be a framing about terminology. It is necessary that all partners acknowledge the different vocabularies involved, and understand that their background and professional context influences their understanding of terms and concepts. The aim is not to negate those vocabularies, nor to define a new one that would fit to all sciences. It is to ensure that all partners are aware of the possible misunderstandings and accept that others might use other terminologies. Thus, major misunderstandings

  14. Human Blood Typing: A Forensic Science Approach. Part I: Background.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kobilinsky, Lawrence; Sheehan, Francis X.

    1988-01-01

    In this article, part I of a series, the forensic methods used in "typing" human blood, which as physical evidence is often found in the dried state, are outlined. Background information about individualization, antibody typing, fresh blood, dried blood, and additional systems is provided. (CW)

  15. A Novel Approach to Deepen Understanding of Undergraduates' Environmental Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hvenegaard, Glen

    2007-01-01

    Universities often lack a detailed understanding of the environmental backgrounds of their students. One way to improve understanding is through segmentation, which breaks down a population into groups of people with similar characteristics. This study aims to use segmentation to determine groups within the student population, based on…

  16. GPR background removal using a directional total variation minimisation approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rashed, Essam A.

    2015-12-01

    Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is a leading geophysical subsurface imaging tool for various purposes. This efficiency, however, is compromised by the interference of different types of noise. Background noise (clutter) is one of the nagging types of noise that undermines the high-resolution imaging capabilities of GPR. This study presents the experience of applying a directional total variation minimisation (DTVM) filter to attenuate clutter in GPR data. The application of DTVM to both synthetic and field GPR data proves its great capability to attenuate clutter without affecting the features of interest of a GPR section. The results also show that the proposed DTVM method affords superior image quality than both the most commonly used and the most recently published background removal techniques.

  17. Influence of background music on preschoolers' behavior: a naturalistic approach.

    PubMed

    Godeli, M R; Santana, P R; Souza, V H; Marquetti, G P

    1996-06-01

    27 preschool children were observed naturally during classroom activities. Observations of behaviors of Social Interaction, Spatial Localization, and Posture categories were made under music (folk or rock and roll) and no music conditions. Music selections favored child-to-child social interaction. PMID:8823880

  18. An efficient background modeling approach based on vehicle detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jia-yan; Song, Li-mei; Xi, Jiang-tao; Guo, Qing-hua

    2015-10-01

    The existing Gaussian Mixture Model(GMM) which is widely used in vehicle detection suffers inefficiency in detecting foreground image during the model phase, because it needs quite a long time to blend the shadows in the background. In order to overcome this problem, an improved method is proposed in this paper. First of all, each frame is divided into several areas(A, B, C and D), Where area A, B, C and D are decided by the frequency and the scale of the vehicle access. For each area, different new learning rate including weight, mean and variance is applied to accelerate the elimination of shadows. At the same time, the measure of adaptive change for Gaussian distribution is taken to decrease the total number of distributions and save memory space effectively. With this method, different threshold value and different number of Gaussian distribution are adopted for different areas. The results show that the speed of learning and the accuracy of the model using our proposed algorithm surpass the traditional GMM. Probably to the 50th frame, interference with the vehicle has been eliminated basically, and the model number only 35% to 43% of the standard, the processing speed for every frame approximately has a 20% increase than the standard. The proposed algorithm has good performance in terms of elimination of shadow and processing speed for vehicle detection, it can promote the development of intelligent transportation, which is very meaningful to the other Background modeling methods.

  19. Neurochemical background and approaches in the understanding of motion sickness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohl, R. L.

    1982-01-01

    The problems and nature of space motion sickness were defined. The neurochemical and neurophysiological bases of vestibular system function and of the expression of motion sickness wre reviewed. Emphasis was given to the elucidation of the neuropharmacological mechanisms underlying the effects of scopolamine and amphetamine on motion sickness. Characterization of the ascending reticular activating system and the limbic system provided clues to the etiology of the side effects of scopolamine. The interrelationship between central cholinergic pathways and the peripheral (autonomic) expression of motion sickness was described. A correlation between the stress of excessive motion and a variety of hormonal responses to that stress was also detailed. The cholinergic system is involved in the efferent modulation of the vestibular hair cells, as an afferent modulator of the vestibular nuclei, in the activation of cortical and limbic structures, in the expression of motion sickness symptoms and most likely underscores a number of the hormonal changes that occur in stressful motion environments. The role of lecithin in the regulation of the levels of neurotransmitters was characterized as a possible means by which cholinergic neurochemistry can be modulated.

  20. Severe antenatally diagnosed renal disorders: background, prognosis and practical approach.

    PubMed

    Aulbert, Wiebke; Kemper, Markus J

    2016-04-01

    Nowadays most renal disorders, especially urinary tract malformations and renal cystic disease, are diagnosed antenatally. In cases of severe bilateral disease, intrauterine renal dysfunction may lead to renal oligohydramnios (ROH), resulting in pulmonary hypoplasia which affects perinatal mortality and morbidity as well as the long-term outcome. However, some infants may only have mild pulmonary and renal disease, and advances in postnatal and dialysis treatment have resulted in improved short- and long-term outcome even in those infants with severe ROH. Here, we review the current state of knowledge and clinical experience of patients presenting antenatally with severe bilateral renal disorders and ROH. By addressing underlying mechanisms, intrauterine tools of diagnosis and treatment as well as published outcome data, we hope to improve antenatal counselling and postnatal care. KEY SUMMARY POINTS: 1. Nowadays most renal disorders are diagnosed antenatally, especially urinary tract malformations and renal cystic disease. 2. Severe kidney dysfunction may lead to renal oligohydramnios, which can cause pulmonary hypoplasia and is a risk factor of perinatal mortality and postnatal renal outcome. However, as considerable clinical heterogeneity is present, outcome predictions need to be treated with caution. 3. Advances in postnatal and dialysis treatment have resulted in improved short- and long-term outcomes even in infants with severe renal oligohydramnios. 4. A multidisciplinary approach with specialist input is required when counselling a family with an ROH-affected fetus as the decision-making process is very challenging. PMID:26081158

  1. Computational Assessment of Naturally Occurring Neutron and Photon Background Radiation Produced by Extraterrestrial Sources

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Thomas Martin; de Wet, Wouter C.; Patton, Bruce W.

    2015-10-28

    In this study, a computational assessment of the variation in terrestrial neutron and photon background from extraterrestrial sources is presented. The motivation of this assessment is to evaluate the practicality of developing a tool or database to estimate background in real time (or near–real time) during an experimental measurement or to even predict the background for future measurements. The extraterrestrial source focused on during this assessment is naturally occurring galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). The MCNP6 transport code was used to perform the computational assessment. However, the GCR source available in MCNP6 was not used. Rather, models developed and maintained by NASA were used to generate the GCR sources. The largest variation in both neutron and photon background spectra was found to be caused by changes in elevation on Earth's surface, which can be as large as an order of magnitude. All other perturbations produced background variations on the order of a factor of 3 or less. The most interesting finding was that ~80% and 50% of terrestrial background neutrons and photons, respectively, are generated by interactions in Earth's surface and other naturally occurring and man-made objects near a detector of particles from extraterrestrial sources and their progeny created in Earth's atmosphere. In conclusion, this assessment shows that it will be difficult to estimate the terrestrial background from extraterrestrial sources without a good understanding of a detector's surroundings. Therefore, estimating or predicting background during a measurement environment like a mobile random search will be difficult.

  2. Cancer Mortality Among People Living in Areas With Various Levels of Natural Background Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Fornalski, Krzysztof W.; Feinendegen, Ludwig E.

    2015-01-01

    There are many places on the earth, where natural background radiation exposures are elevated significantly above about 2.5 mSv/year. The studies of health effects on populations living in such places are crucially important for understanding the impact of low doses of ionizing radiation. This article critically reviews some recent representative literature that addresses the likelihood of radiation-induced cancer and early childhood death in regions with high natural background radiation. The comparative and Bayesian analysis of the published data shows that the linear no-threshold hypothesis does not likely explain the results of these recent studies, whereas they favor the model of threshold or hormesis. Neither cancers nor early childhood deaths positively correlate with dose rates in regions with elevated natural background radiation. PMID:26674931

  3. Natural background concentrations and threshold values of chemical species for groundwater in Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyun, Y.; Lee, S.; Lee, H.

    2014-12-01

    We analyze natural background concentrations and determine threshold values of chemical species (NO3-N, Cl, As, Pb, Cr) for groundwater using Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network (GQMN) data operated by Korea Ministry of Environment (ME). GQMN data are divided into two groups, A and B. Group A consists of samples collected in aquifers where anthropogenic inputs are forced to be excluded by aquifer typology. Group B consists of samples in aquifers where purely anthropogenic chemicals (e.g., pesticide, PAC) are introduced at the downgradient. Group A is used to derive nationwide natural background concentrations for groundwater in specific aquifer geology under concern, which represents a reference system. Group B is used for deriving site-specific background concentrations for groundwater. For both groups of data, the samples with anthropogenic inputs are forced to be excluded, thus background concentrations are derived based on a pre-selection method accordingly. We determine threshold values according to EU GroundWater Daughter Directive(GWDD 2006/11/EC). For As, Pb, and Cr and some other trace elements, survival analyses are used for estimating background concentrations due to non-detect data. The results show that high concentration values of NO3-N and Cr are related to high natural background concentrations due to rock-water interactions for Group A. In particular, NO3-N concentrations vary with depth, which are consistent with natural attenuation processes. For Group B, some anthropogenic chemical species such as BTEX are observed and site-specific background concentrations of those elements are non-zero, which is apparently not naturally occurred at all. Natural background concentrations and threshold values derived from Group A can be used for setting up reference values for managing groundwater quality on a level of either domestic or drinking water stands. Meanwhile results from Group B provide a useful guidance for managing groundwater quality in

  4. Geochemistry, biota and natural background levels in an arsenic naturally contaminated volcanic aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preziosi, Elisabetta; Amalfitano, Stefano; Di Lorenzo, Tiziana; Parrone, Daniele; Rossi, David; Ghergo, Stefano; Lungarini, Silvia; Zoppini, Anna Maria

    2015-04-01

    The tight links between chemical and ecological status are largely acknowledged as for surface water bodies, while aquifers are still considered as hidden groundwater reservoirs, rather than ecosystems to be preserved. Geochemical and biological interactions play a key role in all subterranean processes, including the dynamics of the fate of anthropogenic contaminants. Studies on groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDE) were mainly focused on karst aquifers so far, but an increased awareness on the importance of water-rock interactions and methodological improvements in microbial ecology are rapidly increasing the level of characterization of groundwater ecosystems in various hydrogeological contexts. Similarly, knowledge about groundwater biodiversity is still limited, especially if porous habitats are concerned. Yet, groundwater and GDEs are populated by a diverse and highly adapted biota, dominated by crustaceans, which provide important ecosystem services and act as biological indicators of chemical and quantitative impact on groundwater resources. In a previous research (Amalfitano et al. 2014), we reported that the microbial community heterogeneity may reflect the lithological and hydrogeological complexity within volcanic and alluvial facies transition in a groundwater body. The quantitative tracking of the microbial community structure allowed disentangling the natural biogeochemical processes evolving within the aquifer flow path. The analyses of groundwater crustaceans assemblages may contribute to shed more light upon the state and dynamics of such ecosystems. In the present research, a comprehensive study of a water table aquifer flowing through a quaternary volcanic district is being performed, including the geochemical (inorganic) composition, the microbial composition, and the analysis of crustacean assemblages . Groundwater samples are periodically collected from private wells and springs under a low anthropic impact. The key issues within the

  5. Computational Assessment of Naturally Occurring Neutron and Photon Background Radiation Produced by Extraterrestrial Sources

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Miller, Thomas Martin; de Wet, Wouter C.; Patton, Bruce W.

    2015-10-28

    In this study, a computational assessment of the variation in terrestrial neutron and photon background from extraterrestrial sources is presented. The motivation of this assessment is to evaluate the practicality of developing a tool or database to estimate background in real time (or near–real time) during an experimental measurement or to even predict the background for future measurements. The extraterrestrial source focused on during this assessment is naturally occurring galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). The MCNP6 transport code was used to perform the computational assessment. However, the GCR source available in MCNP6 was not used. Rather, models developed and maintained bymore » NASA were used to generate the GCR sources. The largest variation in both neutron and photon background spectra was found to be caused by changes in elevation on Earth's surface, which can be as large as an order of magnitude. All other perturbations produced background variations on the order of a factor of 3 or less. The most interesting finding was that ~80% and 50% of terrestrial background neutrons and photons, respectively, are generated by interactions in Earth's surface and other naturally occurring and man-made objects near a detector of particles from extraterrestrial sources and their progeny created in Earth's atmosphere. In conclusion, this assessment shows that it will be difficult to estimate the terrestrial background from extraterrestrial sources without a good understanding of a detector's surroundings. Therefore, estimating or predicting background during a measurement environment like a mobile random search will be difficult.« less

  6. Assessing Natural Background Levels of aquifers in the Metropolitan Area of Milan (Lombardy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Caro, Mattia; Crosta, Giovanni; Frattini, Paolo

    2016-04-01

    The European Water Framework Directive (WFD 2000/60/CE) requires Member States to evaluate the status of groundwater bodies in order to reach a good water quality for human consumption. One of the preliminary steps for defining the status of groundwater bodies consists in the definition and evaluation of the so-called Natural Background Levels (NBL). The NBL or Baseline level can be defined as "the range of concentration of a given element, isotope or chemical compound in solution, derived entirely from natural, geological, biological or atmospheric sources, under conditions not perturbed by anthropogenic activity" (Edmund and Shand, 2009). The qualitative analysis for a large area (ca 4500 Km2) of the Po Plain around the Milan Metropolitan area (Lombardy, Italy) is presented in this study. Despite the aquifers in the Milan metropolitan area are an incredible groundwater resource for a very large population (3.195.629 inhabitants in the metropolitan area, data at November 2014) and a highly industrialized area, a groundwater baseline characterization is still missing. In order to attain the hydro-geochemical characterization a complete geodatabase was built (120.655 chemical samples from 1980 to 2014). This database has been explored by classical and multivariate statistical analyses to provide relationships among the more influential lithological, hydrogeological and hydro-chemical variables. Finally, the NBLs of different chemical species which may be anthropogenic sensitive (Na, Cl, K, NO3, SO4, NH4, As, Fe, Cr, Fe, Mn, Zn) and for multiple aquifer bodies (phreatic, semi-confined and confined aquifer) are evaluated. Two different approaches are applied: the Pre-Selection method (BRIDGE, 2006) and the Component-Separation method. The first one (PS) consists in the exclusion of samples from the available dataset that could indicate human activities then deriving the NBL as the 90th percentile of the remaining data. The second one (CS) consists in the fitting of

  7. Synthetic Biological Approaches to Natural Product Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Winter, Jaclyn M; Tang, Yi

    2012-01-01

    Small molecules produced in Nature continue to be an inspiration for the development of new therapeutic agents. These natural products possess exquisite chemical diversity, which gives rise to their wide range of biological activities. In their host organism, natural products are assembled and modified by dedicated biosynthetic pathways that Nature has meticulously developed. Often times, the complex structures or chemical modifications instated by these pathways are difficult to replicate using traditional synthetic methods. An alternative approach for creating or enhancing the structural variation of natural products is through combinatorial biosynthesis. By rationally reprogramming and manipulating the biosynthetic machinery responsible for their production, unnatural metabolites that were otherwise inaccessible can be obtained. Additionally, new chemical structures can be synthesized or derivatized by developing the enzymes that carry out these complicated chemical reactions into biocatalysts. In this review, we will discuss a variety of combinatorial biosynthetic strategies, their technical challenges, and highlight some recent (since 2007) examples of rationally designed unnatural metabolites, as well as platforms that have been established for the production and modification of clinically important pharmaceutical compounds. PMID:22221832

  8. Natural background groundwater composition in the Azores archipelago (Portugal): a hydrogeochemical study and threshold value determination.

    PubMed

    Cruz, J V; Andrade, C

    2015-07-01

    Groundwater discharges were sampled in selected springs from São Miguel (Furnas and Fogo trachytic central volcanoes) and Santa Maria islands (Azores, Portugal), in order to characterize natural background levels (NBLs) and proceed to the determination of threshold values (TVs). Besides being a key issue in order to fully assess the anthropogenic pressures, NBLs are also instrumental to derive TVs, therefore complying with requirements from the European Union Groundwater Directive. The composition of groundwater corresponds mainly to low mineralized Na-HCO3 to Na-Cl water types, the latter dominant in Santa Maria island, with a decreasing order of Na>Ca>Mg>K and Cl>HCO3>SO4>NO3 for cations and anion respectively. The majority of the samples are slightly acid to slightly alkaline (pH range of 5.45-7.43), and the electrical conductivity range between 180 and 1458 μS/cm. Groundwater composition is controlled by two major drivers, addition of sea salts and dissolution of silicate minerals. Results shown that TVs established along the present study are in general in the lower rank when compared to the range of values proposed by the several EU member states, with the main exception of NO3, reflecting the impact of agriculture activities over water quality in the Azores, and lower than the national ones. The comparison between the estimated NBL and TV with values derived with another dataset from the Azores, usually higher, depicts the effect of a larger and diverse number of groundwater sources over calculations. On the other hand, all samples which show a contribution from volcanic/hydrothermal systems were excluded from the dataset, which explains why the derived NBLs and TVs are lower comparing to other active volcanic areas, which is also a conservative approach on a subject that has regulatory implications. PMID:25813965

  9. Background in the context of land contaminated with naturally occurring radioactive material.

    PubMed

    Read, D; Read, G D; Thorne, M C

    2013-06-01

    The financial implications of choosing a particular threshold for clearance of radioactively contaminated land are substantial, particularly when one considers the volume of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) created each year by the production and combustion of fossil fuels and the exploitation of industrial minerals. Inevitably, a compromise needs to be reached between the level of environmental protection sought and the finite resources available for remediation. In the case of natural series radionuclides, any anthropogenic input is always superimposed on the inventory already present in the soil; this 'background' inventory is conventionally disregarded when assessing remediation targets. Unfortunately, the term is not well defined and the concept of 'background dose' is open to alternative interpretations. In this paper, we address the issue of natural background from a geochemical rather than from a solely radiological perspective, illustrating this with an example from the china clay industry. We propose a simple procedure for decision making based on activity concentrations of primordial radionuclides and their progeny. Subsequent calculations of dose need to take into account the mineralogical and chemical characteristics of the contamination, which in the case of NORM are invariably reflected in uranium series disequilibrium. PMID:23519083

  10. natural background radiation dosimetry in the highest altitude region of Iran.

    PubMed

    Shahbazi-Gahrouei, Daryoush

    2003-09-01

    The natural background radiation has been measured in one of the highest altitude regions (Zagros Mountains), Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, in the south west of Iran. The outdoors-environmental monitoring exposure rate of radiation was measured in 200 randomly chosen regions using portable Geiger-Muller and scintillation detectors. Eight measurements were made in each region and an average value was used to calculate the exposure rate from natural background radiation. The average exposure rate was found to be 0.246 microGy/h and the annual average effective dose equivalent was found to be 0.49 mSv. An overall population-weighted mean outdoor dose rate was calculated to be 49 nGy/h, which is higher than the world-wide mean value of 44 nGy/h, as reported by UNSCEAR in 1998, and is comparable to the annual effective dose equivalent of 0.38 mSv. A good correlation between the altitude and the exposure rate was observed, as the higher altitude regions have higher natural background radiation levels. PMID:14646234

  11. Nature of association between rural background and practice location: A comparison of general practitioners and specialists

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Rural and remote areas are characterised by a shortage of medical practitioners. Rural background has been shown to be a significant factor associated with medical graduates' intentions and decisions to practise within a rural area, though most studies have only used simple definitions of rural background and not previously looked at specialists. This paper aims to investigate in detail the nature of the association between rural background and practice location of Australian general practitioners (GPs) and specialists Methods Data for 3156 GPs and 2425 specialists were obtained from the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) study. Data on the number of childhood years resident in a rural location and population size of their rural childhood location were matched against current practice location. Logistic regression modelling was used to calculate adjusted associations between doctors in rural practice and rural background, sex and age. Results GPs with at least 6 years of their childhood spent in a rural area were significantly more likely than those with 0-5 years in a rural area to be practising in a rural location (OR 2.28, 95% CI 1.69-3.08), whilst only specialists with at least 11 years rural background were significantly more likely to be practising in a rural location (OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.77-2.91). However, for doctors with a rural background, the size of the community that they grew up in was not significantly associated with the size of the community in which they currently practise. Both female GPs and female specialists are similarly much less likely to be practising in a rural location compared with males (GPs: OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.45-0.62). Conclusions This study elucidates the association between rural background and rural practice for both GPs and specialists. It follows that increased take-up of rural practice by new graduates requires an increased selection of students with strong rural backgrounds. However, given the

  12. Natural inflation: consistency with cosmic microwave background observations of Planck and BICEP2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freese, Katherine; Kinney, William H.

    2015-03-01

    Natural inflation is a good fit to all cosmic microwave background (CMB) data and may be the correct description of an early inflationary expansion of the Universe. The large angular scale CMB polarization experiment BICEP2 has announced a major discovery, which can be explained as the gravitational wave signature of inflation, at a level that matches predictions by natural inflation models. The natural inflation (NI) potential is theoretically exceptionally well motivated in that it is naturally flat due to shift symmetries, and in the simplest version takes the form V(phi) = Λ4 [1 ± cos(Nphi/f)]. A tensor-to-scalar ratio r > 0.1 as seen by BICEP2 requires the height of any inflationary potential to be comparable to the scale of grand unification and the width to be comparable to the Planck scale. The Cosine Natural Inflation model agrees with all cosmic microwave background measurements as long as f >= mPl (where mPl = 1.22 × 1019 GeV) and Λ ~ mGUT ~ 1016 GeV. This paper also discusses other variants of the natural inflation scenario: we show that axion monodromy with potential Vpropto phi2/3 is inconsistent with the BICEP2 limits at the 95% confidence level, and low-scale inflation is strongly ruled out. Linear potentials V propto phi are inconsistent with the BICEP2 limit at the 95% confidence level, but are marginally consistent with a joint Planck/BICEP2 limit at 95%. We discuss the pseudo-Nambu Goldstone model proposed by Kinney and Mahanthappa as a concrete realization of low-scale inflation. While the low-scale limit of the model is inconsistent with the data, the large-field limit of the model is marginally consistent with BICEP2. All of the models considered predict negligible running of the scalar spectral index, and would be ruled out by a detection of running.

  13. Technical note: An improved approach to determining background aerosol concentrations with PILS sampling on aircraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukami, Christine S.; Sullivan, Amy P.; Ryan Fulgham, S.; Murschell, Trey; Borch, Thomas; Smith, James N.; Farmer, Delphine K.

    2016-07-01

    Particle-into-Liquid Samplers (PILS) have become a standard aerosol collection technique, and are widely used in both ground and aircraft measurements in conjunction with off-line ion chromatography (IC) measurements. Accurate and precise background samples are essential to account for gas-phase components not efficiently removed and any interference in the instrument lines, collection vials or off-line analysis procedures. For aircraft sampling with PILS, backgrounds are typically taken with in-line filters to remove particles prior to sample collection once or twice per flight with more numerous backgrounds taken on the ground. Here, we use data collected during the Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Éxperiment (FRAPPÉ) to demonstrate that not only are multiple background filter samples are essential to attain a representative background, but that the chemical background signals do not follow the Gaussian statistics typically assumed. Instead, the background signals for all chemical components analyzed from 137 background samples (taken from ∼78 total sampling hours over 18 flights) follow a log-normal distribution, meaning that the typical approaches of averaging background samples and/or assuming a Gaussian distribution cause an over-estimation of background samples - and thus an underestimation of sample concentrations. Our approach of deriving backgrounds from the peak of the log-normal distribution results in detection limits of 0.25, 0.32, 3.9, 0.17, 0.75 and 0.57 μg m-3 for sub-micron aerosol nitrate (NO3-), nitrite (NO2-), ammonium (NH4+), sulfate (SO42-), potassium (K+) and calcium (Ca2+), respectively. The difference in backgrounds calculated from assuming a Gaussian distribution versus a log-normal distribution were most extreme for NH4+, resulting in a background that was 1.58× that determined from fitting a log-normal distribution.

  14. Object detection in natural backgrounds predicted by discrimination performance and models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rohaly, A. M.; Ahumada, A. J. Jr; Watson, A. B.

    1997-01-01

    Many models of visual performance predict image discriminability, the visibility of the difference between a pair of images. We compared the ability of three image discrimination models to predict the detectability of objects embedded in natural backgrounds. The three models were: a multiple channel Cortex transform model with within-channel masking; a single channel contrast sensitivity filter model; and a digital image difference metric. Each model used a Minkowski distance metric (generalized vector magnitude) to summate absolute differences between the background and object plus background images. For each model, this summation was implemented with three different exponents: 2, 4 and infinity. In addition, each combination of model and summation exponent was implemented with and without a simple contrast gain factor. The model outputs were compared to measures of object detectability obtained from 19 observers. Among the models without the contrast gain factor, the multiple channel model with a summation exponent of 4 performed best, predicting the pattern of observer d's with an RMS error of 2.3 dB. The contrast gain factor improved the predictions of all three models for all three exponents. With the factor, the best exponent was 4 for all three models, and their prediction errors were near 1 dB. These results demonstrate that image discrimination models can predict the relative detectability of objects in natural scenes.

  15. Feature evaluation for target/background discrimination in image sequences taken by approaching sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoene, Rene; Meidow, Jochen; Mauer, Edmond

    2010-04-01

    The conspicuity of different targets in image sequences taken by approaching sensors is addressed in applications such as the assessment of camouflage effectiveness or the performance evaluation of autonomous systems. In such evaluation processes the consideration of background characteristics is essential due to the propensity to confuse target and background signatures. Several discriminating features of target and background signature can be derived. Furthermore, the changing aspect and spatial resolution during an approach on a target have to be taken into account. Considering salient points in image sequences, we perform a nominal/actual value comparison by evaluating the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for the detections in each image. Hence, reference regions for targets and backgrounds are provided for the entire image sequence by means of robust image registration. The consideration of the uncertainty for the temporal progression of the ROC curve enables hypothesis testing for well-founded statements about the significance of the determined distinctiveness of targets with respect to their background. The approach is neither restricted to images taken by IR sensors nor applicable to low level image analysis steps only, but can be considered as a general method for the assessment of feature evaluation and target distinctiveness. The analysis method proposed facilitates an objective comparison of object appearance with both, its relevant background and other targets, using different image analysis features. The feasibility and the usefulness of the approach are demonstrated with real data recorded with a FLIR sensor during a field trial on a bare and mock-up target.

  16. Object Detection in Natural Backgrounds Predicted by Discrimination Performance and Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahumada, A. J., Jr.; Watson, A. B.; Rohaly, A. M.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    In object detection, an observer looks for an object class member in a set of backgrounds. In discrimination, an observer tries to distinguish two images. Discrimination models predict the probability that an observer detects a difference between two images. We compare object detection and image discrimination with the same stimuli by: (1) making stimulus pairs of the same background with and without the target object and (2) either giving many consecutive trials with the same background (discrimination) or intermixing the stimuli (object detection). Six images of a vehicle in a natural setting were altered to remove the vehicle and mixed with the original image in various proportions. Detection observers rated the images for vehicle presence. Discrimination observers rated the images for any difference from the background image. Estimated detectabilities of the vehicles were found by maximizing the likelihood of a Thurstone category scaling model. The pattern of estimated detectabilities is similar for discrimination and object detection, and is accurately predicted by a Cortex Transform discrimination model. Predictions of a Contrast- Sensitivity- Function filter model and a Root-Mean-Square difference metric based on the digital image values are less accurate. The discrimination detectabilities averaged about twice those of object detection.

  17. Natural background levels and threshold values for groundwater in fluvial Pleistocene and Tertiary marine aquifers in Flanders, Belgium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coetsiers, Marleen; Blaser, Petra; Martens, Kristine; Walraevens, Kristine

    2009-05-01

    Aquifers from the same typology can have strongly different groundwater chemistry. Deducing the groundwater quality of less well-characterized aquifers from well-documented aquifers belonging to the same typology should be done with great reserve, and can only be considered as a preliminary approach. In the EU’s 6th FP BRIDGE project “Background cRiteria for the IDentification of Groundwater thrEsholds”, a methodology for the derivation of threshold values (TV) for groundwater bodies is proposed. This methodology is tested on four aquifers in Flanders of the sand and gravel typology. The methodology works well for all but the Ledo-Paniselian aquifer, where the subdivision into a fresh and saline part is disproved, as a gradual natural transition from fresh to saline conditions in the aquifer is observed. The 90 percentile is proposed as natural background level (NBL) for the unconfined Pleistocene deposits, ascribing the outliers to possible influence of pollution. For the Tertiary aquifers, high values for different parameters have a natural origin and the 97.7 percentile is preferred as NBL. The methodology leads to high TVs for parameters presenting low NBL, when compared to the standard used as a reference. This would allow for substantial anthropogenic inputs of these parameters.

  18. Evaluation of Monitoring Approaches for Natural Attenuation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roll, L. L.; Labolle, E. M.; Fogg, G. E.

    2008-12-01

    Monitored natural attenuation (MNA) can be a useful alternative to active remediation, however, firm conclusions regarding effectiveness of MNA may be elusive because of multiple processes that can produce similar, apparent trends in chemical concentrations in the heterogeneous subsurface. Current monitoring approaches need to be critically evaluated for typical field settings, such as heterogeneous alluvial aquifer systems, because spatially varying aquifer properties create non uniform flow fields that greatly influence transport processes, producing complex plume behavior that may not be adequately depicted by monitoring networks. Highly-resolved simulations of flow and conservative transport in a typical alluvial aquifer system facilitate a critical review of three monitoring approaches including estimation of mass balance from sampling along the plume centerline, estimation of mass balance from fine grid sampling, and estimation of mass flux from sampling along cross sections. The simulation procedure involves generation of unconditional transition-probability fields of hydrofacies distributions, simulation of steady state flow followed by simulation of conservative transport using a highly accurate random walk particle method (RWHET). The results elucidate limitations and potential pitfalls of the monitoring methods and use of simple models in typically heterogeneous systems. For example, simulations show that because of the system complexity, apparent concentration trends in space and time can be falsely attributed to biodegradation when none is occurring if simplistic models are used to interpret the data. Measured concentrations alone are likely insufficient to judge effectiveness of MNA.

  19. Estimation of collective effective dose due to natural background radiation in Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henaish, B. A.; Tawfik, A. A.; Abu Zaid, H.; Gomaa, M. A.

    1994-07-01

    During the last few years, worldwide attention has been directed towards the estimation of natural background radiation levels. Several environmental monitoring networks have been established for systematic data collection and exchange of information.In the present study, measurements of annual effective dose from terrestrial γ-rays are carried out at pre-selected sites within several Egyptian governorates by using a calibrated gas-filled GM-detector connected to a microcomputer system. Contribution of the secondary cosmic-rays, which is of prime importance at sea level, is achieved by carrying out computation based on theoretical considerations.Terrestrial effective dose in Egypt is found to be between 106 and 371 μSv/yr, meanwhile the computed cosmic rays contribution is 260-296 μSv/yr. Accordingly, the annual collective effective dose due to natural background radiation is about 27,253 Man Sv for the last Egyptian population count (1989) considering 0.8 and 0.2 indoor and outdoor occupancy factors.

  20. An automatic segmentation method for multi-tomatoes image under complicated natural background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Jianjun; Mao, Hanping; Hu, Yongguang; Wang, Xinzhong; Chen, Shuren

    2006-12-01

    It is a fundamental work to realize intelligent fruit-picking that mature fruits are distinguished from complicated backgrounds and determined their three-dimensional location. Various methods for fruit identification can be found from the literatures. However, surprisingly little attention has been paid to image segmentation of multi-fruits which growth states are separated, connected, overlapped and partially covered by branches and leaves of plant under the natural illumination condition. In this paper we present an automatic segmentation method that comprises of three main steps. Firstly, Red and Green component image are extracted from RGB color image, and Green component subtracted from Red component gives RG of chromatic aberration gray-level image. Gray-level value between objects and background has obviously difference in RG image. By the feature, Ostu's threshold method is applied to do adaptive RG image segmentation. And then, marker-controlled watershed segmentation based on morphological grayscale reconstruction is applied into Red component image to search boundary of connected or overlapped tomatoes. Finally, intersection operation is done by operation results of above two steps to get binary image of final segmentation. The tests show that the automatic segmentation method has satisfactory effect upon multi-tomatoes image of various growth states under the natural illumination condition. Meanwhile, it has very robust for different maturity of multi-tomatoes image.

  1. Disruptive camouflage tricks the human eye: a study of detection times of two near-similar targets in natural backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selj, Gorm K.

    2015-10-01

    Our understanding of camouflage, in military as well as in evolutionary perspectives, has been developing over the last 100 years. In that period of time several underlying principles have emerged. It has turned out in the recent decade that background pattern matching alone may not be sufficient to conceal targets because of the ubiquitous and revealing information contained by the edges of a target. In this paper we have studied one concealment strategy, the so-called disruptive coloration, further as it predicts that high contrast patches placed at the target's outline will impede detection, by creating false target edges when exposed to the observer. Such disruptive coloration is contra-intuitive as it may impede detection in spite of the fact that the patches themselves may be poorly concealed. In military environments the "disruptive approach" within camouflage has been textbook material for decades. Still, very little has been reported, supporting this idea, especially when it comes to the concealment of human targets in natural sceneries. We report here experimental evidence from a field study, containing detection data from 12 unique natural scenes (5 testing the disruptive effect, 7 as reference tests), with both human targets and human observers, showing that disruptively colored camouflage patches along a human's outline (its head) may increase detection time significantly as when compared to a similar (human) target concealed only with background matching. Hence, our results support the idea that disruptive coloration may impede detection and similarly that the best concealment is achieved when disruptive coloration is added to a target that matches the background (reasonably) well. This study raises important question to the current understanding of human vision and concealment as well as to any approach to describe the human visual system mathematically.

  2. Car-borne survey of natural background gamma dose rate in Çanakkale region, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Turhan, S; Arıkan, I H; Oğuz, F; Özdemir, T; Yücel, B; Varinlioğlu, A; Köse, A

    2012-01-01

    Natural background gamma radiation was measured along roads in the environs of Çanakkale region by using a car-borne spectrometer system with a plastic gamma radiation detector. In addition, activity concentrations of ²³⁸U, ²²⁶Ra, ²³²Th and ⁴⁰K in soil samples from the Çanakkale region were determined by using a gamma spectrometer with an HPGe detector. A total of 92,856 data of the background gamma dose rate were collected for the Çanakkale region. The background gamma dose rate of the Çanakkale region was mapped using ArcGIS software, applying the geostatistical inverse distance-weighted method. The average and population-weighted average of the gamma dose are 55.4 and 40.6 nGy h⁻¹, respectively. The corresponding average annual effective dose to the public ranged from 26.6 to 96.8 µSv. PMID:21362693

  3. The Natural Background Gamma Radiation Exposure in the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Mary Feild

    Measurements of the natural background radiation have been made at numerous places throughout the world. Very little work in this field has been done in developing countries. In Mexico the natural radiation to which the population is exposed has not been assessed. This dissertation represents a pioneer study in this environmental area. The radiation exposure which occupants within buildings receive as a result of naturally occurring radionuclides present in construction materials is the principal focus. Data were collected between August 1979 and November 1980. Continuous monitoring was done with TLDs placed on site for periods of 3 to 6 months. The instrumentation used for "real-time" measurements was a portable NaI (Tl) scintillation detector. In addition, radiometric measurements were performed on construction materials commonly used in Mexican homes. Based on TLD readings taken within 75 dwellings, the typical indoor exposure for a resident of the study area is 9.2 (mu)Rh('-1). The average reading of the 152 indoor scintillometer surveys was 9.5 (mu)Rh('-1), the outdoor reading 7.5 (mu)Rh('-1). Results of one-way and multi-way analyses of the exposure data to determine the effect due to building materials type, geologic subsoil, age of dwelling, and elevation are also presented. The results of 152 indoor scintillometer surveys are described.

  4. Trichloromethyl compounds--natural background concentrations and fates within and below coniferous forests.

    PubMed

    Albers, Christian Nyrop; Hansen, Poul Erik; Jacobsen, Ole Stig

    2010-11-15

    Pollution with organochlorines has received major attention due to various environmental effects, but it is now increasingly recognized, that they also take part in biogeochemical cycles and that natural background concentrations exist for several chlorinated compounds. We here report the natural occurrence and cycling of organic compounds with a trichloromethyl moiety in common. The study areas are temperate coniferous forests. Trichloromethyl compounds can be found in all compartments of the forests (groundwater, soil, vegetation and throughfall), but not all compounds in all compartments. The atmospheric input of trichloromethyl compounds is found to be minor, with significant contributions for trichloroacetic acid (TCAA), only. In top soil, where the formation of the compounds is expected to occur, there is a clear positive relationship between chloroform and trichloroacetyl containing compounds. Other positive relations occur, which in combination with chlorination experiments performed in the laboratory, point to the fact that all the trichloromethyl compounds may be formed concurrently in the soil, and their subsequent fates then differ due to different physical, chemical and biological properties. TCAA cannot be detected in soil and groundwater, but sorption and mineralization experiments performed in the laboratory in combination with analyses of vegetation, show that TCAA is probably formed in the top soil and then partly taken up by the vegetation and partly mineralized in the soil. Based on this and previous studies, a conceptual model for the natural cycling of trichloromethyl compounds in forests is proposed. PMID:20889185

  5. Natural 'background' soil water repellency in conifer forests: its prediction and relationship to wildfire occurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doerr, Stefan; Woods, Scott; Martin, Deborah; Casimiro, Marta

    2013-04-01

    Soils under a wide range of vegetation types exhibit water repellency following the passage of a fire. This is viewed by many as one of the main causes for accelerated post-fire runoff and soil erosion and it has often been assumed that strong soil water repellency present after wildfire is fire-induced. However, high levels of repellency have also been reported under vegetation types not affected by fire, and the question arises to what degree the water repellency observed at burnt sites actually results from fire. This study aimed at determining 'natural background' water repellency in common coniferous forest types in the north-western USA. Mature or semi-mature coniferous forest sites (n = 81), which showed no evidence of recent fires and had at least some needle cast cover, were sampled across six states. After careful removal of litter and duff at each site, soil water repellency was examined in situ at the mineral soil surface using the Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) method for three sub-sites, followed by col- lecting near-surface mineral soil layer samples (0-3 cm depth). Following air-drying, samples were fur- ther analyzed for repellency using WDPT and contact angle (hsl) measurements. Amongst other variables examined were dominant tree type, ground vegetation, litter and duff layer depth, slope angle and aspect, elevation, geology, and soil texture, organic carbon content and pH. 'Natural background' water repellency (WDPT > 5 s) was detected in situ and on air-dry samples at 75% of all sites examined irrespective of dominant tree species (Pinus ponderosa, Pinus contorta, Picea engelma- nii and Pseudotsuga menziesii). These findings demonstrate that the soil water repellency commonly observed in these forest types following burning is not necessarily the result of recent fire but can instead be a natural characteristic. The notion of a low background water repellency being typical for long- unburnt conifer forest soils of the north-western USA is

  6. Exact renormalization group and loop variables: A background independent approach to string theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sathiapalan, B.

    2015-11-01

    This paper is a self-contained review of the loop variable approach to string theory. The Exact Renormalization Group is applied to a world sheet theory describing string propagation in a general background involving both massless and massive modes. This gives interacting equations of motion for the modes of the string. Loop variable techniques are used to obtain gauge invariant equations. Since this method is not tied to flat space-time or any particular background metric, it is manifestly background independent. The technique can be applied to both open and closed strings. Thus gauge invariant and generally covariant interacting equations of motion can be written for massive higher spin fields in arbitrary backgrounds. Some explicit examples are given.

  7. Hierarchical approaches to analysis of natural textures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutsiv, Vadim R.; Malyshev, Igor A.; Novikova, Tatiana A.

    2004-09-01

    The surface textures of natural objects often have the visible fractal-like properties. A similar pattern of texture could be found looking at the forests in the aerial photographs or at the trees in the outdoor scenes when the image spatial resolution was changed. Or the texture patterns are different at different spatial resolution levels in the aerial photographs of villages. It creates the difficulties in image segmentation and object recognition because the levels of spatial resolution necessary to get the homogeneously and correctly labeled texture regions differ for different types of landscape. E.g. if the spatial resolution was sufficient for distinguishing between the textures of agricultural fields, water, and asphalt, the texture labeled areas of forest or suburbs are hardly fragmented, because the texture peculiarities corresponding to two stable levels of texture spatial resolution will be visible in this case. A hierarchical texture analysis could solve this problem, and we did it in two different ways: we performed the texture segmentation simultaneously for several levels of image spatial resolution, or we subjected the texture labeled image of highest spatial resolution to a recurring texture segmentation using the texture cells of larger sizes. The both approaches turned out to be rather fruitful for the aerial photographs as well as for the outdoor images. They generalize and support the hierarchical image analysis technique presented in another our paper. Some of the methods applied were borrowed from the living vision systems.

  8. Diffusion-assisted selective dynamical recoupling: A new approach to measure background gradients in magnetic resonance

    SciTech Connect

    Álvarez, Gonzalo A.; Shemesh, Noam; Frydman, Lucio

    2014-02-28

    Dynamical decoupling, a generalization of the original NMR spin-echo sequence, is becoming increasingly relevant as a tool for reducing decoherence in quantum systems. Such sequences apply non-equidistant refocusing pulses for optimizing the coupling between systems, and environmental fluctuations characterized by a given noise spectrum. One such sequence, dubbed Selective Dynamical Recoupling (SDR) [P. E. S. Smith, G. Bensky, G. A. Álvarez, G. Kurizki, and L. Frydman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109, 5958 (2012)], allows one to coherently reintroduce diffusion decoherence effects driven by fluctuations arising from restricted molecular diffusion [G. A. Álvarez, N. Shemesh, and L. Frydman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 080404 (2013)]. The fully-refocused, constant-time, and constant-number-of-pulses nature of SDR also allows one to filter out “intrinsic” T{sub 1} and T{sub 2} weightings, as well as pulse errors acting as additional sources of decoherence. This article explores such features when the fluctuations are now driven by unrestricted molecular diffusion. In particular, we show that diffusion-driven SDR can be exploited to investigate the decoherence arising from the frequency fluctuations imposed by internal gradients. As a result, SDR presents a unique way of probing and characterizing these internal magnetic fields, given an a priori known free diffusion coefficient. This has important implications in studies of structured systems, including porous media and live tissues, where the internal gradients may serve as fingerprints for the system's composition or structure. The principles of this method, along with full analytical solutions for the unrestricted diffusion-driven modulation of the SDR signal, are presented. The potential of this approach is demonstrated with the generation of a novel source of MRI contrast, based on the background gradients active in an ex vivo mouse brain. Additional features and limitations of this new method are discussed.

  9. Diffusion-assisted selective dynamical recoupling: A new approach to measure background gradients in magnetic resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvarez, Gonzalo A.; Shemesh, Noam; Frydman, Lucio

    2014-02-01

    Dynamical decoupling, a generalization of the original NMR spin-echo sequence, is becoming increasingly relevant as a tool for reducing decoherence in quantum systems. Such sequences apply non-equidistant refocusing pulses for optimizing the coupling between systems, and environmental fluctuations characterized by a given noise spectrum. One such sequence, dubbed Selective Dynamical Recoupling (SDR) [P. E. S. Smith, G. Bensky, G. A. Álvarez, G. Kurizki, and L. Frydman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109, 5958 (2012)], allows one to coherently reintroduce diffusion decoherence effects driven by fluctuations arising from restricted molecular diffusion [G. A. Álvarez, N. Shemesh, and L. Frydman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 080404 (2013)]. The fully-refocused, constant-time, and constant-number-of-pulses nature of SDR also allows one to filter out "intrinsic" T1 and T2 weightings, as well as pulse errors acting as additional sources of decoherence. This article explores such features when the fluctuations are now driven by unrestricted molecular diffusion. In particular, we show that diffusion-driven SDR can be exploited to investigate the decoherence arising from the frequency fluctuations imposed by internal gradients. As a result, SDR presents a unique way of probing and characterizing these internal magnetic fields, given an a priori known free diffusion coefficient. This has important implications in studies of structured systems, including porous media and live tissues, where the internal gradients may serve as fingerprints for the system's composition or structure. The principles of this method, along with full analytical solutions for the unrestricted diffusion-driven modulation of the SDR signal, are presented. The potential of this approach is demonstrated with the generation of a novel source of MRI contrast, based on the background gradients active in an ex vivo mouse brain. Additional features and limitations of this new method are discussed.

  10. The isotropic nature of the background turbulence spectra in the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.; Tu, C. Y.; He, J.; Marsch, E.; Wang, L.

    2014-12-01

    At the high-frequency end of the inertial range, the solar wind turbulence power spectrum was recently found to be anisotropic with respect to the direction of local magnetic field, as an evidence for the presence of a "critical balance" style turbulence cascade. However, we find that the spectral anisotropy seems to result from intermittent structures. The following two independent studies corroborate this statement by showing that the power spectra of the background turbulence, in which there are no intermittent structures, have an isotropic nature. In Study 1, we remove the wavelet coefficients of the local intermittency with large partial variance increment (PVI), and find the spectral indices of the magnetic field are 1.63±0.02, independent of the angle θRB between the direction of the local background magnetic field and the radial direction. In Study 2, we make a statistical study on the magnetic field spectral indices obtained by using Fast Fourier Transform on 40 time series, in which no intermittent structures appear. We find that for the time series with 0o<θRB <6o, the probability distribution of the observed spectral indices peaks at -1.7, while the -2 index predicted by the "critical balance" theory rarely appears. For the time series with 84 o <θRB <90 o, the probability distribution of the indices peaks at -1.5. Considering the uncertainty of the statistics, these results show that the background-turbulence spectra are nearly isotropic with respect to θRB, which may be consistent with some explanations based on hydrodynamic turbulence theory.

  11. Potential health risk in areas with high naturally-occurring cadmium background in southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yizhang; Xiao, Tangfu; Baveye, Philippe C; Zhu, Jianming; Ning, Zengping; Li, Huajun

    2015-02-01

    In various parts of the world, high cadmium (Cd) concentrations in environment are not related to anthropogenic contamination but have natural origins. Less is known about health risks that arise under these conditions. This study aimed to discuss the pollution of Cd with natural sources, and to investigate the concentration of Cd in food crops and the urine of inhabitants in an area of southwestern China. The results showed that the arable soils are moderately contaminated by Cd (I(geo)=1.51) relative to the local background, with a high ecological risk (Er=218). The chemical fractions of Cd in soils with natural sources are probably controlled by parent materials and mostly in residual phase. The average Cd concentrations were 0.68 mg kg(-1) (fresh weight) in local vegetables, 0.04 mg kg(-1) in rice, and 0.14 μg L(-1) in water. Leafy vegetable tends to accumulate more Cd than the other crops. The calculated Target Hazard Quotient (THQ) had a much higher value (4.33) for Cd, suggesting that Cd represents a significant potential risk to the local population. The urinary Cd concentrations (mean at 3.92 μg L(-1) for male and 4.85 μg L(-1) for female) of inhabitants in the study area were significantly higher (p<0.05) than those from the control area (mean at 0.8 μg L(-1) for male and 0.42 μg L(-1) for female). Male and female test subjects had similar urinary Cd levels (p>0.05), but age seemed to lead to an increase in Cd in the urine. These findings show that naturally-occurring Cd in local soils is taken up appreciably by local food crops, and that dietary exposure of Cd through vegetable ingestion is a major exposure pathway for local populations, and a potential risk to public health in the study area. PMID:25463862

  12. Molecular Mechanisms of Drug Resistance in Natural Leishmania Populations Vary with Genetic Background

    PubMed Central

    Decuypere, Saskia; Vanaerschot, Manu; Brunker, Kirstyn; Imamura, Hideo; Müller, Sylke; Khanal, Basudha; Rijal, Suman; Dujardin, Jean-Claude; Coombs, Graham H.

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of drug-resistance in pathogens is a major global health threat. Elucidating the molecular basis of pathogen drug-resistance has been the focus of many studies but rarely is it known whether a drug-resistance mechanism identified is universal for the studied pathogen; it has seldom been clarified whether drug-resistance mechanisms vary with the pathogen's genotype. Nevertheless this is of critical importance in gaining an understanding of the complexity of this global threat and in underpinning epidemiological surveillance of pathogen drug resistance in the field. This study aimed to assess the molecular and phenotypic heterogeneity that emerges in natural parasite populations under drug treatment pressure. We studied lines of the protozoan parasite Leishmania (L.) donovani with differential susceptibility to antimonial drugs; the lines being derived from clinical isolates belonging to two distinct genetic populations that circulate in the leishmaniasis endemic region of Nepal. Parasite pathways known to be affected by antimonial drugs were characterised on five experimental levels in the lines of the two populations. Characterisation of DNA sequence, gene expression, protein expression and thiol levels revealed a number of molecular features that mark antimonial-resistant parasites in only one of the two populations studied. A final series of in vitro stress phenotyping experiments confirmed this heterogeneity amongst drug-resistant parasites from the two populations. These data provide evidence that the molecular changes associated with antimonial-resistance in natural Leishmania populations depend on the genetic background of the Leishmania population, which has resulted in a divergent set of resistance markers in the Leishmania populations. This heterogeneity of parasite adaptations provides severe challenges for the control of drug resistance in the field and the design of molecular surveillance tools for widespread applicability. PMID:22389733

  13. Enhancement of natural background gamma-radiation dose around uranium microparticles in the human body

    PubMed Central

    Pattison, John E.; Hugtenburg, Richard P.; Green, Stuart

    2010-01-01

    Ongoing controversy surrounds the adverse health effects of the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions. The biological effects of gamma-radiation arise from the direct or indirect interaction between secondary electrons and the DNA of living cells. The probability of the absorption of X-rays and gamma-rays with energies below about 200 keV by particles of high atomic number is proportional to the third to fourth power of the atomic number. In such a case, the more heavily ionizing low-energy recoil electrons are preferentially produced; these cause dose enhancement in the immediate vicinity of the particles. It has been claimed that upon exposure to naturally occurring background gamma-radiation, particles of DU in the human body would produce dose enhancement by a factor of 500–1000, thereby contributing a significant radiation dose in addition to the dose received from the inherent radioactivity of the DU. In this study, we used the Monte Carlo code EGSnrc to accurately estimate the likely maximum dose enhancement arising from the presence of micrometre-sized uranium particles in the body. We found that although the dose enhancement is significant, of the order of 1–10, it is considerably smaller than that suggested previously. PMID:19776147

  14. Computational approaches to natural product discovery

    PubMed Central

    Medema, Marnix H.; Fischbach, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    From the earliest Streptomyces genome sequences, the promise of natural product genome mining has been captivating: genomics and bioinformatics would transform compound discovery from an ad hoc pursuit to a high-throughput endeavor. Until recently, however, genome mining has advanced natural product discovery only modestly. Here, we argue that the development of algorithms to mine the continuously increasing amounts of (meta)genomic data will enable the promise of genome mining to be realized. We review computational strategies that have been developed to identify biosynthetic gene clusters in genome sequences and predict the chemical structures of their products. We then discuss networking strategies that can systematize large volumes of genetic and chemical data, and connect genomic information to metabolomic and phenotypic data. Finally, we provide a vision of what natural product discovery might look like in the future, specifically considering long-standing questions in microbial ecology regarding the roles of metabolites in interspecies interactions. PMID:26284671

  15. Phylogenetic Approaches to Natural Product Structure Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Ziemert, Nadine; Jensen, Paul R.

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetics is the study of the evolutionary relatedness among groups of organisms. Molecular phylogenetics uses sequence data to infer these relationships for both organisms and the genes they maintain. With the large amount of publicly available sequence data, phylogenetic inference has become increasingly important in all fields of biology. In the case of natural product research, phylogenetic relationships are proving to be highly informative in terms of delineating the architecture and function of the genes involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases provide model examples in which individual domain phylogenies display different predictive capacities, resolving features ranging from substrate specificity to structural motifs associated with the final metabolic product. This chapter provides examples in which phylogeny has proven effective in terms of predicting functional or structural aspects of secondary metabolism. The basics of how to build a reliable phylogenetic tree are explained along with information about programs and tools that can be used for this purpose. Furthermore, it introduces the Natural Product Domain Seeker, a recently developed Web tool that employs phylogenetic logic to classify ketosynthase and condensation domains based on established enzyme architecture and biochemical function. PMID:23084938

  16. Interaction energy and closest approach of moving charged particles on a plasma and neutral gas background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Øien, Alf H.

    2012-02-01

    Electric interaction between two negatively charged particles of different sizes on a mixed background of positive, negative, and neutral particles is complex and has relevance both to dusty plasmas and to transports in ionized fluids in general. We consider particularly effects during interaction that particle velocity and neutrals in the background may have on the well-known “dressing” and electric shielding that is due to the charged part of the background and how the interaction energy is modified because of this. Without such effects earlier works show the interaction becomes attractive when the distance between the two particles is a bit larger than the Debye length. We use a model where one of the two interacting particles has a radius much larger than the Debye length and the other a radius shorter than the Debye length. Then, the complex interaction may be more easily determined for particle separation up to a few Debye lengths. We consider the larger particle as stationary while the smaller may move. We find quite simple analytic expressions for the dressed particle interaction energy over the whole range of speed of the incoming smaller particle, assumed coming head on the larger particle, and the whole range of neutral particle densities. We also derive a distance of closest approach of small and large particles for all such parameter values. This distance is important for excluded volume estimations for moving small charged particles in media populated by large charged particles on a background as described above, and hence, important for determining the speed of flow of the smaller particles through such media.

  17. Natural products: a safest approach for obesity.

    PubMed

    Vasudeva, Neeru; Yadav, Neerja; Sharma, Surendra Kumar

    2012-06-01

    Obesity is recognized as a social problem, associated with serious health risks and increased mortality. Numerous trials have been conducted to find and develop new anti-obesity drugs through herbal sources to minimize adverse reactions associated with the present anti-obesity drugs. The use of natural products as medicine has been documented for hundreds of years in various traditional systems of medicines throughout the world. This review focuses on the medicinal plants such as Achyranthus aspera, Camellia sinensis, Emblica officinalis, Garcinia cambogia, Terminalia arjuna, etc., being used traditionally in Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha and Chinese, etc., systems of medicine. The review also highlights recent reported phytochemicals such as escins, perennisosides, dioscin, gracillin, etc., and the various extracts of the plants like Nelumbo nucifera, Panax japonicas, Cichorium intybus, Cyperus rotundus, Paeonia suffruticosa, etc., which have been successfully identified for the treatment of obesity. PMID:22821661

  18. A new line-of-sight approach to the non-linear Cosmic Microwave Background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fidler, Christian; Koyama, Kazuya; Pettinari, Guido W.

    2015-04-01

    We develop the transport operator formalism, a new line-of-sight integration framework to calculate the anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at the linear and non-linear level. This formalism utilises a transformation operator that removes all inhomogeneous propagation effects acting on the photon distribution function, thus achieving a split between perturbative collisional effects at recombination and non-perturbative line-of-sight effects at later times. The former can be computed in the framework of standard cosmological perturbation theory with a second-order Boltzmann code such as SONG, while the latter can be treated within a separate perturbative scheme allowing the use of non-linear Newtonian potentials. We thus provide a consistent framework to compute all physical effects contained in the Boltzmann equation and to combine the standard remapping approach with Boltzmann codes at any order in perturbation theory, without assuming that all sources are localised at recombination.

  19. US--EC fuel cycle study: Background document to the approach and issues

    SciTech Connect

    Cantor, Robin; Lee, Russell

    1992-11-01

    In February 1991, DOE and the Commission of the European Communities (EC), signed a joint statement regarding the external costs of fuel cycles. This 18-month agreement committed their respective organizations to ``develop a comparative analytical methodology and to develop the best range of estimates of external costs from secondary sources`` for eight fuel cycles and four conservation options. In our study, a fuel cycle is defined as the series of physical and chemical processes and activities that are required to generate electricity from a specific fuel or resource. This foundation phase of the study is primarily limited to developing and demonstrating methods for estimating impacts and their monetized value, what we term ``damages`` or ``benefits,`` leaving aside the extent to which such damages have been internalized. However, Appendix C provides the conceptual framework for evaluating the extent of internalization. This report is a background document to introduce the study approach and to discuss the major conceptual and practical issues entailed by the incremental damage problem. As a background document, the report seeks to communicate an overview of the study and the important methodological choices that were made to conduct the research. In successive sections of the report, the methodological tools used in the study are discussed; the ecological and health impacts are reviewed using the coal fuel cycle as a reference case; and, in the final chapter, the methods for valuing impacts are detailed.

  20. US--EC fuel cycle study: Background document to the approach and issues

    SciTech Connect

    Cantor, Robin; Russell, Lee; Krupnick, Alan; Smith, Hilary; Schaffhauser, Jr., A.; Barnthouse, Larry; Cada, Glen; Kroodsma, Roger; Turner, Robb; Easterly, Clay; Jones, Troyce; Burtraw, Dallas; Harrington, Winston; Freeman, A. Myrick

    1992-11-01

    In February 1991, DOE and the Commission of the European Communities (EC), signed a joint statement regarding the external costs of fuel cycles. This 18-month agreement committed their respective organizations to develop a comparative analytical methodology and to develop the best range of estimates of external costs from secondary sources'' for eight fuel cycles and four conservation options. In our study, a fuel cycle is defined as the series of physical and chemical processes and activities that are required to generate electricity from a specific fuel or resource. This foundation phase of the study is primarily limited to developing and demonstrating methods for estimating impacts and their monetized value, what we term damages'' or benefits,'' leaving aside the extent to which such damages have been internalized. However, Appendix C provides the conceptual framework for evaluating the extent of internalization. This report is a background document to introduce the study approach and to discuss the major conceptual and practical issues entailed by the incremental damage problem. As a background document, the report seeks to communicate an overview of the study and the important methodological choices that were made to conduct the research. In successive sections of the report, the methodological tools used in the study are discussed; the ecological and health impacts are reviewed using the coal fuel cycle as a reference case; and, in the final chapter, the methods for valuing impacts are detailed.

  1. Blurring the Inputs: A Natural Language Approach to Sensitivity Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kleb, William L.; Thompson, Richard A.; Johnston, Christopher O.

    2007-01-01

    To document model parameter uncertainties and to automate sensitivity analyses for numerical simulation codes, a natural-language-based method to specify tolerances has been developed. With this new method, uncertainties are expressed in a natural manner, i.e., as one would on an engineering drawing, namely, 5.25 +/- 0.01. This approach is robust and readily adapted to various application domains because it does not rely on parsing the particular structure of input file formats. Instead, tolerances of a standard format are added to existing fields within an input file. As a demonstration of the power of this simple, natural language approach, a Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis is performed for three disparate simulation codes: fluid dynamics (LAURA), radiation (HARA), and ablation (FIAT). Effort required to harness each code for sensitivity analysis was recorded to demonstrate the generality and flexibility of this new approach.

  2. Natural radionuclide and radiological assessment of building materials in high background radiation areas of Ramsar, Iran

    PubMed Central

    Bavarnegin, Elham; Moghaddam, Masoud Vahabi; Fathabadi, Nasrin

    2013-01-01

    Building materials, collected from different sites in Ramsar, a northern coastal city in Iran, were analyzed for their natural radionuclide contents. The measurements were carried out using a high resolution high purity Germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometer system. The activity concentration of 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K content varied from below the minimum detection limit up to 86,400 Bqkg-1, 187 Bqkg-1, and 1350 Bqkg-1, respectively. The radiological hazards incurred from the use of these building materials were estimated through various radiation hazard indices. The result of this survey shows that values obtained for some samples are more than the internationally accepted maximum limits and as such, the use of them as a building material pose significant radiation hazard to individuals. PMID:23776313

  3. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    SciTech Connect

    Short, J.W.; Wright, B.A.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The authors present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1,670 and 3,070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios of triaromatic steranes of methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.

  4. The Nature of the Unresolved Extragalactic Cosmic Soft X-Ray Background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cappelluti, N.; Ranalli, P.; Roncarelli, M.; Arevalo, P.; Zamorani, G.; Comastri, A.; Gilli, R.; Rovilos, E.; Vignali, C.; Allevato, V.; Finoguenov, A.; Miyaji, T.; Nicastro, F.; Georgantopoulos, I.; Kashlinsky, A.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the power spectrum of the unresolved 0.5-2 keV cosmic X-ray background (CXB) with deep Chandra 4-Msec (Ms) observations in the Chandra Deep Field South (CDFS). We measured a signal that, on scales >30 arcsec, is significantly higher than the shot noise and is increasing with angular scale. We interpreted this signal as the joint contribution of clustered undetected sources like active galactic nuclei (AGN), galaxies and the intergalactic medium (IGM). The power of unresolved cosmic source fluctuations accounts for approximately 12 per cent of the 0.5-2 keV extragalactic CXB. Overall, our modelling predicts that approximately 20 per cent of the unresolved CXB flux is produced by low-luminosity AGN, approximately 25 per cent by galaxies and approximately 55 per cent by the IGM. We do not find any direct evidence of the so-called 'warm hot intergalactic medium' (i.e. matter with 10(exp 5) less than T less than 10(exp 7) K and density contrast delta less than 1000), but we estimated that it could produce about 1/7 of the unresolved CXB. We placed an upper limit on the space density of postulated X-ray-emitting early black holes at z greater than 7.5 and compared it with supermassive black hole evolution models.

  5. Pharmacokinetic Modeling of Manganese III. Physiological Approaches Accounting for Background and Tracer Kinetics

    SciTech Connect

    Teeguarden, Justin G.; Gearhart, Jeffrey; Clewell, III, H. J.; Covington, Tammie R.; Nong, Andy; Anderson, Melvin E.

    2007-01-01

    Manganese (Mn) is an essential nutrient. Mn deficiency is associated with altered lipid (Kawano et al. 1987) and carbohydrate metabolism (Baly et al. 1984; Baly et al. 1985), abnormal skeletal cartilage development (Keen et al. 2000), decreased reproductive capacity, and brain dysfunction. Occupational and accidental inhalation exposures to aerosols containing high concentrations of Mn produce neurological symptoms with Parkinson-like characteristics in workers. At present, there is also concern about use of the manganese-containing compound, methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT), in unleaded gasoline as an octane enhancer. Combustion of MMT produces aerosols containing a mixture of manganese salts (Lynam et al. 1999). These Mn particulates may be inhaled at low concentrations by the general public in areas using MMT. Risk assessments for essential elements need to acknowledge that risks occur with either excesses or deficiencies and the presence of significant amounts of these nutrients in the body even in the absence of any exogenous exposures. With Mn there is an added complication, i.e., the primary risk is associated with inhalation while Mn is an essential dietary nutrient. Exposure standards for inhaled Mn will need to consider the substantial background uptake from normal ingestion. Andersen et al. (1999) suggested a generic approach for essential nutrient risk assessment. An acceptable exposure limit could be based on some ‘tolerable’ change in tissue concentration in normal and exposed individuals, i.e., a change somewhere from 10 to 25 % of the individual variation in tissue concentration seen in a large human population. A reliable multi-route, multi-species pharmacokinetic model would be necessary for the implementation of this type of dosimetry-based risk assessment approach for Mn. Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models for various xenobiotics have proven valuable in contributing to a variety of chemical specific risk

  6. Cutaneous delivery of natural antioxidants: the enhancement approaches.

    PubMed

    Aljuffali, Ibrahim A; Hsu, Ching-Yun; Lin, Yin-Ku; Fang, Jia-You

    2015-01-01

    Topically applied natural antioxidants can be an effective treatment for inhibiting oxidative damage and photoaging of the skin. Due to the barrier function of the stratum corneum (SC), it is necessary to use an enhancement approach to promote the cutaneous absorption of natural antioxidants. Some factors that should be considered when developing delivery systems for natural antioxidants include increased solubility, enhanced storage stability, improved permeability and bioavailability, skin targeting, and minimal side effects. This review describes the skin delivery systems for natural antioxidant permeation that have been developed during the last decade. The antioxidants introduced include vitamins, polyphenols, and carotenoids. Various types of formulations are employed to improve the skin penetration of the antioxidants, such as hydrogels, cyclodextrin, microemulsions, nanoparticles, liposomes and niosomes. This review focuses on the introduction of natural antioxidants used in skin protection, the mechanisms of antioxidant activity on the skin, and formulation designs for enhancing absorption and efficacy. PMID:25925121

  7. Patterns of Population Differentiation and Natural Selection on the Celiac Disease Background Risk Network

    PubMed Central

    Sams, Aaron; Hawks, John

    2013-01-01

    Celiac disease is a common small intestinal inflammatory condition induced by wheat gluten and related proteins from rye and barley. Left untreated, the clinical presentation of CD can include failure to thrive, malnutrition, and distension in juveniles. The disease can additionally lead to vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and osteoporosis. Therefore, CD potentially negatively affected fitness in past populations utilizing wheat, barley, and rye. Previous analyses of CD risk variants have uncovered evidence for positive selection on some of these loci. These studies also suggest the possibility that risk for common autoimmune conditions such as CD may be the result of positive selection on immune related loci in the genome to fight infection. Under this evolutionary scenario, disease phenotypes may be a trade-off from positive selection on immunity. If this hypothesis is generally true, we can expect to find a signal of natural selection when we survey across the network of loci known to influence CD risk. This study examines the non-HLA autosomal network of gene loci associated with CD risk in Europe. We reject the null hypothesis of neutrality on this network of CD risk loci. Additionally, we can localize evidence of selection in time and space by adding information from the genome of the Tyrolean Iceman. While we can show significant differentiation between continental regions across the CD network, the pattern of evidence is not consistent with primarily recent (Holocene) selection across this network in Europe. Further localization of ancient selection on this network may illuminate the ecological pressures acting on the immune system during this critically interesting phase of our evolution. PMID:23936230

  8. A Natural Approach to Teaching the German Subjunctive.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jappinen, Ilona

    1986-01-01

    Describes a three-step process which enables students to understand the subjunctive in German. This method is based on Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell's Natural Approach and involves students in communicative situations through the use of props, dialogs, and mini-dramas. (SED)

  9. Natural background levels and threshold values of chemical species in three large-scale groundwater bodies in Northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Molinari, Antonio; Guadagnini, Laura; Marcaccio, Marco; Guadagnini, Alberto

    2012-05-15

    We analyze natural background levels (NBLs) and threshold values (TVs) of spatially distributed chemical species (NH(4), B and As) which may be a potential pressure and concern in three large scale alluvial and fluvio-deltaic aquifers at different depths of the Apennines and Po river plains in Emilia-Romagna, Northern Italy. Our results are based on statistical methodologies designed to separate the natural and anthropogenic contributions in monitored concentrations by modeling the empirical distribution of the detected concentration with a mixture of probability density functions. Available chemical observations are taken over a 20 years period and are associated with different depths and cover planar investigation scales of the order of hundreds of kilometers. High concentration values detected for NH(4) and B appear to be related to high natural background levels. Due to interaction with the host rock in different geochemical environments we observed that concentration vary in time and space (including in depth) consistently with the hydrogeochemical features and the occurrence of natural attenuation mechanisms in the analyzed reservoirs. Conversely, estimated As NBLs are not consistent with the conceptual model of the hydrogeochemical behavior of the systems analyzed and experimental evidences of As content in aquifer cores. This is due to the inability of these techniques to incorporate the complex dynamics of the processes associated with the specific hydrogeochemical setting. Statistical analyses performed upon aggregating the concentration data according to different time observation windows allow identifying temporal dynamics of NBLs and TVs of target compounds within the observation time frame. Our results highlight the benefit of a dynamic monitoring process and analysis of well demarcated groundwater bodies to update the associated NBLs as a function of the temporal dependence of natural processes occurring in the subsurface. Monitoring protocols could

  10. Quality assurance of temporal variability of natural decay chain and neutron induced background for low-level NORM analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Yoho, Michael; Porterfield, Donivan R.; Landsberger, Sheldon

    2015-09-22

    In this study, twenty-one high purity germanium (HPGe) background spectra were collected over 2 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory. A quality assurance methodology was developed to monitor spectral background levels from thermal and fast neutron flux levels and naturally occurring radioactive material decay series radionuclides. 238U decay products above 222Rn demonstrated minimal temporal variability beyond that expected from counting statistics. 238U and 232Th progeny below Rn gas displayed at most twice the expected variability. Further, an analysis of the 139 keV 74Ge(n, γ) and 691 keV 72Ge(n, n') spectral features demonstrated temporal stability for both thermal and fast neutron fluxes.

  11. Quality assurance of temporal variability of natural decay chain and neutron induced background for low-level NORM analysis

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yoho, Michael; Porterfield, Donivan R.; Landsberger, Sheldon

    2015-09-22

    In this study, twenty-one high purity germanium (HPGe) background spectra were collected over 2 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory. A quality assurance methodology was developed to monitor spectral background levels from thermal and fast neutron flux levels and naturally occurring radioactive material decay series radionuclides. 238U decay products above 222Rn demonstrated minimal temporal variability beyond that expected from counting statistics. 238U and 232Th progeny below Rn gas displayed at most twice the expected variability. Further, an analysis of the 139 keV 74Ge(n, γ) and 691 keV 72Ge(n, n') spectral features demonstrated temporal stability for both thermal and fast neutronmore » fluxes.« less

  12. A new approach to remove interorder background in high dispersion IUE images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Myron A.

    1990-01-01

    A two dimensional Chebyshev interpolating scheme, followed by modeling of point spread functions as Voigt profiles, is proposed for final archiving IUESIPS to remove the interorder overlap from the smoothed background fluxes of high dispersion International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) images. Tests of the first and last stages of the algorithm suggest that it can give a considerably better zero point than the old IUESIPS algorithm which samples local interorder background.

  13. Educational Background, Teaching Experience and Teachers' Views on the Inclusion of Nature of Science in the Science Curriculum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín-Díaz, M. J.

    2006-08-01

    The aim of this research is to ascertain teachers’ opinions on what elements of nature of science (NOS) and science technology society relationships (STS) should be taught in school science. To this end an adapted version of the questionnaire developed by Osborne et al. is used. Our results show that experts consulted by Osborne et al. and Spanish teachers confer similar importance on the provisional, experimental, and predictive nature of scientific knowledge based on some of the procedures used such as the drawing up of hypotheses and the analysis and interpretation of data. We also look into the relationship between the teachers’ views and their educational background.1 Results suggest that philosophy teachers are more concerned with the inclusion of NOS and STS topics in science curricula than science teachers, although further studies will be necessary. Some suggestions concerning the university training of science teachers are also discussed.

  14. Study of natural radionuclide concentrations in an area of elevated radiation background in the northern districts of Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Hamid, B N; Chowdhury, M I; Alam, M N; Islam, M N

    2002-01-01

    The activity concentrations of naturally occurring radioactive materials in soil samples from an elevated radiation background area of three northern districts of Bangladesh were determined using gamma ray spectrometry. The outdoor and indoor external effective dose rates and the radiation hazard indices from these soil activities were evaluated. The dose rates were found to be about four times higher than the reported world average value. The concentration of natural radionuclides, derived radium equivalent activities and the representative level indices were also found to be higher. Recommendations on radiological and dosimetric measures have been suggested with an aim of minimising the harmful effects of ionising radiation to the population of the area concerned. PMID:11926374

  15. LUCIFER, a potentially background-free approach to the search for neutrinoless double beta decay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nones, C.; Lucifer Group

    2011-08-01

    LUCIFER (Low-background Underground Cryogenic Installation For Elusive Rates) is a new project for the study of neutrinoless Double Beta Decay, based on the technology of scintillating bolometers. These devices promise a very efficient rejection of the alpha background, opening the way to a virtual background-free experiment if candidates with a transition energy higher than 2615 keV are investigated. The baseline candidate for LUCIFER is 82Se. This isotope will be embedded in ZnSe crystals grown with enriched selenium and operated as scintillating bolometers in a low-radioactivity underground dilution refrigerator. In this paper, the LUCIFER concept will be introduced. The sensitivity and the very promising prospects related to this project will be discussed.

  16. [Clinico-biochemical approach to the problem of psychogenic disorders and background].

    PubMed

    Pelipas, V E; Dmitrieva, T B

    1986-01-01

    total of 270 patients with psychogenic disturbances were studied. Three levels of the interaction between the background and psychogenesis were specified. In accordance with these levels psychogenic disturbances were presented in the form of continuous changes from the typical to the atypical, from the predominance of the psychogenic to the predominance of the endogenic. Study of the metabolism of catecholamines in 45 patients with a nuclear form of psychopathy has shown that the biological factor plays an important role in the understanding of correlation between psychogenesis and the background. PMID:3705853

  17. The proportion of childhood leukaemia incidence in Great Britain that may be caused by natural background ionizing radiation.

    PubMed

    Wakeford, R; Kendall, G M; Little, M P

    2009-04-01

    The aetiology of childhood leukaemia remains generally unknown, although exposure to moderate and high levels of ionizing radiation, such as those experienced during the atomic bombings of Japan or from radiotherapy, is an established cause. Risk models based primarily on studies of the Japanese atomic bomb survivors imply that low-level exposure to ionizing radiation, including ubiquitous natural background radiation, also raises the risk of childhood leukaemia. Using two sets of recently published leukaemia risk models and estimates of natural background radiation red-bone-marrow doses received by children, about 20% of the cases of childhood leukaemia in Great Britain are predicted to be attributable to this source. However, for one of these sets of risk models this attributable fraction is materially dependent on how the radiation-induced risk is assumed to be transferred between the Japanese atomic bomb survivors and Western children. Over a range of annual doses representing the range (0.5-2.5 mSv/year) experienced by most populations, the attributable proportion for the preferred risk-transfer model varies between 8 and 30%, with small deviations from a linear relationship that are largely due to the saturation of the model, although again this range of attributable fractions depends on the assumed transfer of risk between populations. PMID:19151785

  18. Preschool Teachers' Professional Background, Process Quality, and Job Attitudes: A Person-Centered Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeon, Lieny; Buettner, Cynthia K.; Hur, Eunhye

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: This exploratory study identified preschool teacher quality profiles in early childhood education settings using 9 indicators across teachers' professional background, observed process quality, and job attitudes toward teaching (e.g., job-related stress, satisfaction, and intention to leave the job). The sample consisted of 96…

  19. Does a Nurturing Approach That Uses an Outdoor Play Environment Build Resilience in Children from a Challenging Background?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McArdle, Karen; Harrison, Terri; Harrison, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Children from challenging backgrounds were brought to a woodland for a programme that sought to promote resilience at Camphill School. This qualitative study of one programme uses an ethnographic approach to research the effectiveness of this type of intervention. Case studies of three of the children are used to illustrate the ways in which…

  20. A hybrid approach for text detection in natural scenes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Runmin; Sang, Nong; Wang, Ruolin; Kuang, Xiaoqin

    2013-10-01

    In this paper, a hybrid approach is proposed to detect texts in natural scenes. It is performed by the following steps: Firstly, the edge map and the text saliency region are obtained. Secondly, the text candidate regions are detected by connected components (CC) based method and are identified by an off-line trained HOG classifier. And then, the remaining CCs are grouped into text lines with some heuristic strategies to make up for the false negatives. Finally, the text lines are broken into separate words. The performance of the proposed approach is evaluated on the location detection database of ICDAR 2003 robust reading competition. Experimental results demonstrate the validity of our approach and are competitive with other state-of-the-art algorithms.

  1. The interaction of natural background gamma radiation with depleted uranium micro-particles in the human body.

    PubMed

    Pattison, John E

    2013-03-01

    In this study, some characteristics of the photo-electrons produced when natural background gamma radiation interacts with micron-sized depleted uranium (DU) particles in the human body have been estimated using Monte Carlo simulations. In addition, an estimate has been made of the likelihood of radiological health effects occurring due to such an exposure. Upon exposure to naturally occurring background gamma radiation, DU particles in the body will produce an enhancement of the dose to the tissue in the immediate vicinity of the particles due to the photo-electric absorption of the radiation in the particle. In this study, the photo-electrons produced by a 10 μm-size particle embedded in tissue at the centre of the human torso have been investigated. The mean energies of the photo-electrons in the DU particle and in the two consecutive immediately surrounding 2 μm-wide tissue shells around the particle were found to be 38, 49 and 50 keV, respectively, with corresponding ranges of 1.3, 38 and 39 μm, respectively. The total photo-electron fluence-rates in the two consecutive 2 μm-wide tissue layers were found to be 14% and 7% of the fluence-rate in the DU particle, respectively. The estimated dose enhancement due to one 10 μm-sized DU particle in 1 cm(3) of tissue was less than 2 in 10 million of the dose received by the tissue without a particle being present. The increase in risk of death from cancer due to this effect is consequently insignificant. PMID:23295360

  2. A Coupled Human-Natural Systems Approach to Valuing Natural Capital

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenichel, E. P.; Abbott, J.; Fujitani, M.

    2012-12-01

    The idea that geological and biological natural resources provide ecosystem services and that the physical geological and biological stocks, referred to as ecological stocks, are forms of capital is not new, but has attracted increased attention since the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was released in 2005. Yet, the exact meaning of these terms, the connection between natural capital and ecosystem services, and the broader links between biophysical science and economics is often vague. The conceptual connection between ecosystem services and natural capital is that ecosystem services are the flow of goods and services that people receive from natural resources, and these flows are generated by an endowment of ecological stocks. While individuals derive benefits from a flow of services, the extent that people value the underlying natural capital asset depends on institutional arrangements in addition to the ecological properties of the stocks, because the value of capital relates to the future flow of services. A coupled human-natural systems modeling approach can help understand the value of natural capital in addition to helping scientist and policy makers better manage earth's resources. The value of a capital asset is the net present value of the flow of service, often calculated by the NPV rule. The NPV rule almost always assumes perfectly functioning markets for services and capital, but for many important ecosystem services such markets simply do not exist. The NPV rule can be derived by maximizing the net present value of capital. Indeed, the NPV rule comes from the adjoint condition of an optimal control problem where the flow of services from the capital asset are the benefits, and the dynamics of the capital stock are the constraints. Yet, trying to apply the traditional NPV rule to ecosystem services and natural capital can be frustrated by not knowing where pieces of the puzzle fit. We compare the standard NPV rule with a modified NPV rule derived by

  3. Global Surface Water Delineation under Heterogeneous Backgrounds Based on A Fuzzy Clustering Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    An accurate and robust method to extract terrestrial water bodies is critical to effectively manage the fundamental resources for terrestrial life. Conventional methods are frequently limited in terms of the uncertainty related to the coarse resolution of remotely sensed images and insufficient robustness caused by regional reflectance heterogeneity. Fuzzy clustering method (FCM) with local spatial information has proven to be capable of accounting for these limitations. This technique is however susceptible to immense false noise in original optical bands. A systematic surface water extraction method by synthesizing the water index (WI) method and a modified FCM (WIMFCM) was therefore proposed to improve the water extraction accuracy, the rationale of which is a background reflectance bias correction. Applications and validations were performed to sixteen background-heterogeneous sites in different parts of the world using the Landsat-8 OLI (Operational Land Imager) images, which differed from previous research focusing on water bodies with specific morphological features (e.g., linear rivers or regular lakes). Results obtained demonstrated that the use of the proposed WIMFCM could improve the accuracy of surface water body extraction without regional or seasonal limitations in comparison to alternative methods at both pixel and sub-pixel level. Additional tests carried out on MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data proved that the WIMFCM could be extended to global scale, as well as be used in near-real time water monitoring. The findings of this study are able to improve land cover mapping accuracy when using the optical satellite images under heterogeneous environments.

  4. Rationale for a natural products approach to herbicide discovery.

    PubMed

    Dayan, Franck E; Owens, Daniel K; Duke, Stephen O

    2012-04-01

    Weeds continue to evolve resistance to all the known modes of herbicidal action, but no herbicide with a new target site has been commercialized in nearly 20 years. The so-called 'new chemistries' are simply molecules belonging to new chemical classes that have the same mechanisms of action as older herbicides (e.g. the protoporphyrinogen-oxidase-inhibiting pyrimidinedione saflufenacil or the very-long-chain fatty acid elongase targeting sulfonylisoxazoline herbicide pyroxasulfone). Therefore, the number of tools to manage weeds, and in particular those that can control herbicide-resistant weeds, is diminishing rapidly. There is an imminent need for truly innovative classes of herbicides that explore chemical spaces and interact with target sites not previously exploited by older active ingredients. This review proposes a rationale for a natural-products-centered approach to herbicide discovery that capitalizes on the structural diversity and ingenuity afforded by these biologically active compounds. The natural process of extended-throughput screening (high number of compounds tested on many potential target sites over long periods of times) that has shaped the evolution of natural products tends to generate molecules tailored to interact with specific target sites. As this review shows, there is generally little overlap between the mode of action of natural and synthetic phytotoxins, and more emphasis should be placed on applying methods that have proved beneficial to the pharmaceutical industry to solve problems in the agrochemical industry. PMID:22232033

  5. A Systematic Approach to Discover and Characterize Natural Plant Biostimulants

    PubMed Central

    Povero, Giovanni; Mejia, Juan F.; Di Tommaso, Donata; Piaggesi, Alberto; Warrior, Prem

    2016-01-01

    The use of natural plant biostimulants is proposed as an innovative solution to address the challenges to sustainable agriculture, to ensure optimal nutrient uptake, crop yield, quality, and tolerance to abiotic stress. However, the process of selection and characterization of plant biostimulant matrices is complex and involves a series of rigorous evaluations customized to the needs of the plant. Here, we propose a highly differentiated plant biostimulant development and production platform, which involves a combination of technology, processes, and know-how. Chemistry, biology and omic concepts are combined/integrated to investigate and understand the specific mode(s) of action of bioactive ingredients. The proposed approach allows to predict and characterize the function of natural compounds as biostimulants. By managing and analyzing massive amounts of complex data, it is therefore possible to discover, evaluate and validate new product candidates, thus expanding the uses of existing products to meet the emerging needs of agriculture. PMID:27092156

  6. Sensitivity analysis approach to multibody systems described by natural coordinates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiufeng; Wang, Yabin

    2014-03-01

    The classical natural coordinate modeling method which removes the Euler angles and Euler parameters from the governing equations is particularly suitable for the sensitivity analysis and optimization of multibody systems. However, the formulation has so many principles in choosing the generalized coordinates that it hinders the implementation of modeling automation. A first order direct sensitivity analysis approach to multibody systems formulated with novel natural coordinates is presented. Firstly, a new selection method for natural coordinate is developed. The method introduces 12 coordinates to describe the position and orientation of a spatial object. On the basis of the proposed natural coordinates, rigid constraint conditions, the basic constraint elements as well as the initial conditions for the governing equations are derived. Considering the characteristics of the governing equations, the newly proposed generalized-α integration method is used and the corresponding algorithm flowchart is discussed. The objective function, the detailed analysis process of first order direct sensitivity analysis and related solving strategy are provided based on the previous modeling system. Finally, in order to verify the validity and accuracy of the method presented, the sensitivity analysis of a planar spinner-slider mechanism and a spatial crank-slider mechanism are conducted. The test results agree well with that of the finite difference method, and the maximum absolute deviation of the results is less than 3%. The proposed approach is not only convenient for automatic modeling, but also helpful for the reduction of the complexity of sensitivity analysis, which provides a practical and effective way to obtain sensitivity for the optimization problems of multibody systems.

  7. A Parametric Approach To Mirror Natural Frequency Calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, William J.

    1984-01-01

    A hybrid analytical/graphical method is presented to calculate the fundamental natural frequency of rectangular mirrors mounted at 3 points. A NASTRAN assisted parametric approach was used to calculate the characteristic roots of the plate vibration equation for mirrors with aspect ratios ranging from 1.0 x 1.0 to 10.0 x 1.0. Also considered were simply supported boundary conditions at three mirror corner points or at two corner points on one edge and one point along the opposite edge. Experimental varification within 6.0% was achieved for the extreme case tested with approximately a +2.0% average experimental error overall.

  8. A Hydrodynamic Approach to Cosmology: Nonlinear Effects on Cosmic Backgrounds in the Cold Dark Matter Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scaramella, Roberto; Cen, Renyue; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.

    1993-10-01

    Using the CDM model as a testbed, we produce and analyze sky maps of fluctuations in the cosmic background radiation field due to Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, as well as those seen in X-ray background at 1 keV and at 2 keV. These effects are due to the shock heating of baryons in the nonlinear phases of cosmic collapses. Comparing observations with computations provides a powerful tool to constrain cosmological models. We use a highly developed Eulerian mesh code with 1283 cells and 2 × 106 particles. Most of our information comes from simulations with box size 64 h-1 Mpc, but other calculations were made with L = 16 h-1 and L = 4 h-1 Mpc. A standard CDM input spectrum was used with amplitude defined by the requirement (ΔM/M)rms = 1/1.5 on 8 h-1 Mpc scales (lower than the COBE normalization by a factor of 1.6±0.4), with H0 = 50 km s-1 Mpc-1 and Ωb = 0.05. For statistical validity a large number of independent simulations must be run. In all, over 60 simulations were run from z = 20 to z = 0. We produce maps of 50' x 50' with 1' effective resolution by randomly stacking along the past light cone for 0.02 ≤ z ≤ 10 appropriate combinations of computational boxes of different comoving lengths, which are picked from among different realizations of initial conditions. We also compute time evolution, present intensity pixel distributions, and the autocorrelation function of sky fluctuations as a function of angular scale. Our most reliable results are obtained after deletion of bright sources having 1 keV intensity greater than 0.1 keV cm-2 sr-1 s-1 keV-1. Then for the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich parameter γ the mean and dispersion are [barγ, σ(γ)] = (4, 3) × 10-7 with a lognormal distribution providing a good fit for values of y greater than average. The angular correlation function (less secure) is roughly exponential with scale length ˜2'.5. For the X-ray intensity fluctuations, in units of keV s-1 sr-1 cm-2 keV-1 we find barIX1, X2 = (0.02, 0.006) and σX1, X2 = (0

  9. Local participation in natural resource monitoring: a characterization of approaches.

    PubMed

    Danielsen, Finn; Burgess, Neil D; Balmford, Andrew; Donald, Paul F; Funder, Mikkel; Jones, Julia P G; Alviola, Philip; Balete, Danilo S; Blomley, Tom; Brashares, Justin; Child, Brian; Enghoff, Martin; Fjeldså, Jon; Holt, Sune; Hübertz, Hanne; Jensen, Arne E; Jensen, Per M; Massao, John; Mendoza, Marlynn M; Ngaga, Yonika; Poulsen, Michael K; Rueda, Ricardo; Sam, Moses; Skielboe, Thomas; Stuart-Hill, Greg; Topp-Jørgensen, Elmer; Yonten, Deki

    2009-02-01

    The monitoring of trends in the status of species or habitats is routine in developed countries, where it is funded by the state or large nongovernmental organizations and often involves large numbers of skilled amateur volunteers. Far less monitoring of natural resources takes place in developing countries, where state agencies have small budgets, there are fewer skilled professionals or amateurs, and socioeconomic conditions prevent development of a culture of volunteerism. The resulting lack of knowledge about trends in species and habitats presents a serious challenge for detecting, understanding, and reversing declines in natural resource values. International environmental agreements require signatories undertake systematic monitoring of their natural resources, but no system exists to guide the development and expansion of monitoring schemes. To help develop such a protocol, we suggest a typology of monitoring categories, defined by their degree of local participation, ranging from no local involvement with monitoring undertaken by professional researchers to an entirely local effort with monitoring undertaken by local people. We assessed the strengths and weaknesses of each monitoring category and the potential of each to be sustainable in developed or developing countries. Locally based monitoring is particularly relevant in developing countries, where it can lead to rapid decisions to solve the key threats affecting natural resources, can empower local communities to better manage their resources, and can refine sustainable-use strategies to improve local livelihoods. Nevertheless, we recognize that the accuracy and precision of the monitoring undertaken by local communities in different situations needs further study and field protocols need to be further developed to get the best from the unrealized potential of this approach. A challenge to conservation biologists is to identify and establish the monitoring system most relevant to a particular

  10. Embedded-explicit emergent literacy intervention I: Background and description of approach.

    PubMed

    Justice, Laura M; Kaderavek, Joan N

    2004-07-01

    This article, the first of a two-part series, provides background information and a general description of an emergent literacy intervention model for at-risk preschoolers and kindergartners. The embedded-explicit intervention model emphasizes the dual importance of providing young children with socially embedded opportunities for meaningful, naturalistic literacy experiences throughout the day, in addition to regular structured therapeutic interactions that explicitly target critical emergent literacy goals. The role of the speech-language pathologist (SLP) in the embedded-explicit model encompasses both indirect and direct service delivery: The SLP consults and collaborates with teachers and parents to ensure the highest quality and quantity of socially embedded literacy-focused experiences and serves as a direct provider of explicit interventions using structured curricula and/or lesson plans. The goal of this integrated model is to provide comprehensive emergent literacy interventions across a spectrum of early literacy skills to ensure the successful transition of at-risk children from prereaders to readers. PMID:15248791

  11. U.S.-EC Fuel Cycle Study: Background Document to the Approach and Issues

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, R.

    1992-11-01

    Introducing social costs into utility decision making is not the first best policy for internalizing damages associated with energy use. If this approach is applied to electric utilities only, energy markets could become distorted. It introduces possible anti-new source bias if applied to only new sources. It requires that other policies, such as potentially inefficient environmental laws, be taken as a given. It offers an inappropriate jurisdictional control for many issues, such as global warming or foreign policy, which will be a source of frustration for many advocates. And it could even result in increases in pollution. It would be preferable for federal and state laws to be set and designed efficiently affecting all sectors of the economy. Nonetheless, application and investment of the concept of social costing of electricity can lead to more efficient electricity generation choices. While the piecemeal problem is potentially significant, so are the benefits of social costing.

  12. A multimodal spectral approach to characterize rhythm in natural speech.

    PubMed

    Alexandrou, Anna Maria; Saarinen, Timo; Kujala, Jan; Salmelin, Riitta

    2016-01-01

    Human utterances demonstrate temporal patterning, also referred to as rhythm. While simple oromotor behaviors (e.g., chewing) feature a salient periodical structure, conversational speech displays a time-varying quasi-rhythmic pattern. Quantification of periodicity in speech is challenging. Unimodal spectral approaches have highlighted rhythmic aspects of speech. However, speech is a complex multimodal phenomenon that arises from the interplay of articulatory, respiratory, and vocal systems. The present study addressed the question of whether a multimodal spectral approach, in the form of coherence analysis between electromyographic (EMG) and acoustic signals, would allow one to characterize rhythm in natural speech more efficiently than a unimodal analysis. The main experimental task consisted of speech production at three speaking rates; a simple oromotor task served as control. The EMG-acoustic coherence emerged as a sensitive means of tracking speech rhythm, whereas spectral analysis of either EMG or acoustic amplitude envelope alone was less informative. Coherence metrics seem to distinguish and highlight rhythmic structure in natural speech. PMID:26827019

  13. Research on tracking approach to weak small targets under sky background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jinling; Miao, Dong; Zhou, Wensheng; Shen, Jiarui; Chen, Nao; Kang, Bo

    2014-09-01

    The infrared (IR) target recognizing and tracking technique is widely applied to many fields such as industries, navigation, weapon controlling and guiding and so on. Its application in military field has become the research hotspot. The stability of target tracking is the most important in military applications. However, it is difficult to track the aerial target because of the complex background and noise interference, especially from long distance, which make tracking targets even harder. In this paper, a novel image tracking system is designed, which uses template matching algorithm combined with Kalman filter. Because of the noise in image, the presence of occlusion, and the deformation of tracked target, some tracking algorithms may fail. So it is the main idea in this paper to merge the advantages from the tracking algorithms, and track the target real time. The algorithm for weak small targets from the image is based on template matching algorithm. In order to overcome the problems related to the changes of unpredictable circumstance, Kalman filter tracking algorithm is used. For the disadvantage of template matching algorithm towards occasions in target tracking, such as target occlusion, drastic change of image intensity, the relevant solutions are proposed. In cases when the target is occluded or moves more than the operational limits of the tracking module, Kalman filter is used to predict the object location. Thus, automatic detection and tracking of target in real-time is achieved and the proposed method is more robust in target tracking. The results show that the algorithm can realize target tracking under complicated scenes. It also improves the tracking stability, capacity of anti-interfering and running efficiency.

  14. Speakers urge a unified approach to mitigating natural hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, M. Catherine

    On November 3, while wildfires consumed acres of coastal land in California, the U.S. Natural Hazards Symposium in Washington, D.C., addressed the threat of natural hazards in the United States, disaster mitigation and recovery, and the need to consider natural hazards in land development plans. Several of the scheduled speakers were unable to participate because they were called to California to investigate the fires, including keynote speaker James Witt, the new director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).Substitute keynote speaker Harvey Ryland, Witt's senior adviser at FEMA, emphasized that “we must sell mitigation as an effective means of protecting people and property.” He discussed FEMA's new “National Mitigation Strategy,” which will serve as the basis for its emergency management program. The strategy is expected to be in place by January 1995. As part of the approach, FEMA will establish a mitigation directorate to organize various disaster mitigation efforts in one office. Ryland also discussed the idea of creating risk reduction enterprise zones, designated high risk areas that would offer incentives to property owners who take proper mitigation measures. “Such incentives would be offset by reduced disaster assistance costs,” Ryland added.

  15. Prevention of microbial communities: novel approaches based natural products.

    PubMed

    Mogosanu, George D; Grumezescu, Alexandru M; Huang, Keng-Shiang; Bejenaru, Ludovic E; Bejenaru, Cornelia

    2015-01-01

    Firmly attached to different living or non-living, solid or fluid surfaces rich in nutrients and moisture, microbial biofilm is a matter of great interest due to its major importance for the healthcare community. Depending on common strategies such as mutual protection and hibernation (quiescent bacteria), the resistance, survival and virulence of microbial communities have large implications for human pathology, clinical environment and biomedical devices. The microbial biofilm is continuously changing, stimulating inflammation, increasing vascular permeability and preventing the action of macrophages. About 80% of human infections affecting the gastrointestinal, genitourinary and respiratory systems, oral mucosa and teeth, eyes, middle ear and skin are caused by biofilm-associated microorganisms. Therefore, the search for modern strategies is even more important as microbial biofilms resistant to conventional antibiotics, antiseptics and disinfectants are involved in the frequent treatment failures of some chronic inflammatory diseases and wounds. Natural products containing secondary metabolites, such as aromatic compounds, sulphurated derivatives, terpenoids (essential oils) and alkaloids as quorum-sensing inhibitors and biofilm disruptors, are promising alternatives for the prophylaxis and treatment of chronic infections. Surface modification of medical devices with non-polar functionalized nanoparticles stabilizes the natural compounds antibiofilm activity and inhibits microbial adhesion and biofilm formation and growth for a longer period of time. In this regard, an interdisciplinary approach is needed due to the large number of natural derivatives alone or in combination with biocompatible and biodegradable micro-/ nano-engineered materials. PMID:25594287

  16. Combining natural background levels (NBLs) assessment with indicator kriging analysis to improve groundwater quality data interpretation and management.

    PubMed

    Ducci, Daniela; de Melo, M Teresa Condesso; Preziosi, Elisabetta; Sellerino, Mariangela; Parrone, Daniele; Ribeiro, Luis

    2016-11-01

    The natural background level (NBL) concept is revisited and combined with indicator kriging method to analyze the spatial distribution of groundwater quality within a groundwater body (GWB). The aim is to provide a methodology to easily identify areas with the same probability of exceeding a given threshold (which may be a groundwater quality criteria, standards, or recommended limits for selected properties and constituents). Three case studies with different hydrogeological settings and located in two countries (Portugal and Italy) are used to derive NBL using the preselection method and validate the proposed methodology illustrating its main advantages over conventional statistical water quality analysis. Indicator kriging analysis was used to create probability maps of the three potential groundwater contaminants. The results clearly indicate the areas within a groundwater body that are potentially contaminated because the concentrations exceed the drinking water standards or even the local NBL, and cannot be justified by geogenic origin. The combined methodology developed facilitates the management of groundwater quality because it allows for the spatial interpretation of NBL values. PMID:27371772

  17. Modelling public risk evaluation of natural hazards: a conceptual approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plattner, Th.

    2005-04-01

    In recent years, the dealing with natural hazards in Switzerland has shifted away from being hazard-oriented towards a risk-based approach. Decreasing societal acceptance of risk, accompanied by increasing marginal costs of protective measures and decreasing financial resources cause an optimization problem. Therefore, the new focus lies on the mitigation of the hazard's risk in accordance with economical, ecological and social considerations. This modern proceeding requires an approach in which not only technological, engineering or scientific aspects of the definition of the hazard or the computation of the risk are considered, but also the public concerns about the acceptance of these risks. These aspects of a modern risk approach enable a comprehensive assessment of the (risk) situation and, thus, sound risk management decisions. In Switzerland, however, the competent authorities suffer from a lack of decision criteria, as they don't know what risk level the public is willing to accept. Consequently, there exists a need for the authorities to know what the society thinks about risks. A formalized model that allows at least a crude simulation of the public risk evaluation could therefore be a useful tool to support effective and efficient risk mitigation measures. This paper presents a conceptual approach of such an evaluation model using perception affecting factors PAF, evaluation criteria EC and several factors without any immediate relation to the risk itself, but to the evaluating person. Finally, the decision about the acceptance Acc of a certain risk i is made by a comparison of the perceived risk Ri,perc with the acceptable risk Ri,acc.

  18. "Bundle Data" Approach at GES DISC Targeting Natural Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shie, C. L.; Shen, S.; Kempler, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    Severe natural phenomena such as hurricane, volcano, blizzard, flood and drought have the potential to cause immeasurable property damages, great socioeconomic impact, and tragic loss of human life. From searching to assessing the "Big", i.e., massive and heterogeneous scientific data (particularly, satellite and model products) in order to investigate those natural hazards, it has, however, become a daunting task for Earth scientists and applications researchers, especially during recent decades. The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Service Center (GES DISC) has served "Big" Earth science data, and the pertinent valuable information and services to the aforementioned users of diverse communities for years. In order to help and guide our users to online readily (i.e., with a minimum effort) acquire their requested data from our enormous resource at GES DISC for studying their targeted hazard/event, we have thus initiated a "Bundle Data" approach in 2014, first targeting the hurricane event/topic. We have recently worked on new topics such as volcano and blizzard. The "bundle data" of a specific hazard/event is basically a sophisticated integrated data package consisting of a series of proper datasets containing a group of relevant ("knowledge-based") data variables readily accessible to users via a system-prearranged table linking those data variables to the proper datasets (URLs). This online approach has been developed by utilizing a few existing data services such as Mirador as search engine; Giovanni for visualization; and OPeNDAP for data access, etc. The online "Data Cookbook" site at GES DISC is the current host for the "bundle data". We are now also planning on developing an "Automated Virtual Collection Framework" that shall eventually accommodate the "bundle data", as well as further improve our management in "Big Data".

  19. Bundle Data Approach at GES DISC Targeting Natural Hazards

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shie, Chung-Lin; Shen, Suhung; Kempler, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Severe natural phenomena such as hurricane, volcano, blizzard, flood and drought have the potential to cause immeasurable property damages, great socioeconomic impact, and tragic loss of human life. From searching to assessing the Big, i.e., massive and heterogeneous scientific data (particularly, satellite and model products) in order to investigate those natural hazards, it has, however, become a daunting task for Earth scientists and applications researchers, especially during recent decades. The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Service Center (GES DISC) has served Big Earth science data, and the pertinent valuable information and services to the aforementioned users of diverse communities for years. In order to help and guide our users to online readily (i.e., with a minimum effort) acquire their requested data from our enormous resource at GES DISC for studying their targeted hazard event, we have thus initiated a Bundle Data approach in 2014, first targeting the hurricane event topic. We have recently worked on new topics such as volcano and blizzard. The bundle data of a specific hazard event is basically a sophisticated integrated data package consisting of a series of proper datasets containing a group of relevant (knowledge--based) data variables readily accessible to users via a system-prearranged table linking those data variables to the proper datasets (URLs). This online approach has been developed by utilizing a few existing data services such as Mirador as search engine; Giovanni for visualization; and OPeNDAP for data access, etc. The online Data Cookbook site at GES DISC is the current host for the bundle data. We are now also planning on developing an Automated Virtual Collection Framework that shall eventually accommodate the bundle data, as well as further improve our management in Big Data.

  20. Fungal communities as an experimental approach to Darwin's naturalization hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Morales, María Camila; Verdejo, Valentina; Orlando, Julieta; Carú, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    Darwin's naturalization hypothesis suggests that the success of an invasive species will be lower when colonizing communities are formed by phylogenetically related rather than unrelated species due to increased competition. Although microbial invasions are involved in both natural and anthropogenic processes, factors affecting the success of microbial invaders are unknown. A biological invasion assay was designed using Trichoderma cf. harzianum as the invader and two types of recipient communities assembled in microcosm assays: communities phylogenetically related to the invader, and communities phylogenetically unrelated to it. Both types of communities were invaded by T. cf. harzianum, and the success of colonization was monitored by qPCR; its effect on the genetic structure of recipient fungal communities was then assessed by DGGE profiles. T. cf. harzianum established itself in both communities, reaching 1000-10,000 times higher copy numbers in the non-related communities. However, invader establishment does not affect the structure of the invaded communities. These results suggest that the composition of recipient communities and their phylogenetic relationship to the invader affect the success of colonization by T. cf. harzianum. While this approach represents a very simplified assay, these microcosms enable an experimental test of Darwin's hypothesis in order to understand the biological invasion process in microbial communities. PMID:26506029

  1. Oil and Gas Drilling and Operations in Cave and Karst area: Background and development of a BLM approach

    SciTech Connect

    Goodbar, J.R. )

    1994-03-01

    Karst lands pose a unique set of problems for the oil and gas industry, as well as for the cave and karst environments. Since 1987, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been working with the oil and gas industry to develop acceptable practices for drilling and operation in karst lands. The mutual goals of industry and of the BLM is to minimize the potential of encountering those problems and reduce the extent of the problems, if they are encountered. BLM's approach is described in their [open quotes]Draft Guide for Oil and Gas Drilling and Operations in Cave and Karst Areas.[close quotes] This paper discusses the background and development of this guide with an emphasis on the conflict resolution approach of the BLM.

  2. Proteogenomic Approaches for the Molecular Characterization of Natural Microbial Communities

    SciTech Connect

    Banfield, Jillian F.; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Thelen, Michael P.

    2005-01-01

    At the present time we know little about how microbial communities function in their natural habitats. For example, how do microorganisms interact with each other and their physical and chemical surroundings and respond to environmental perturbations? We might begin to answer these questions if we could monitor the ways in which metabolic roles are partitioned amongst members as microbial communities assemble, determine how resources such as carbon, nitrogen, and energy are allocated into metabolic pathways, and understand the mechanisms by which organisms and communities respond to changes in their surroundings. Because many organisms cannot be cultivated, and given that the metabolisms of those growing in monoculture are likely to differ from those of organisms growing as part of consortia, it is vital to develop methods to study microbial communities in situ. Chemoautotrophic biofilms growing in mine tunnels hundreds of meters underground drive pyrite (FeS2) dissolution and acid and metal release, creating habitats that select for a small number of organism types. The geochemical and microbial simplicity of these systems, the significant biomass, and clearly defined biological-inorganic feedbacks make these ecosystem microcosms ideal for development of methods for the study of uncultivated microbial consortia. Our approach begins with the acquisition of genomic data from biofilms that are sampled over time and in different growth conditions. We have demonstrated that it is possible to assemble shotgun sequence data to reveal the gene complement of the dominant community members and to use these data to confidently identify a significant fraction of proteins from the dominant organisms by mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. However, there are technical obstacles currently restricting this type of "proteogenomic" analysis. Composite genomic sequences assembled from environmental data from natural microbial communities do not capture the full range of genetic

  3. Proteogenomic approaches for the molecular characterization of natural microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Banfield, Jillian F; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert L; Thelen, Michael P

    2005-01-01

    At the present time we know little about how microbial communities function in their natural habitats. For example, how do microorganisms interact with each other and their physical and chemical surroundings and respond to environmental perturbations? We might begin to answer these questions if we could monitor the ways in which metabolic roles are partitioned amongst members as microbial communities assemble, determine how resources such as carbon, nitrogen, and energy are allocated into metabolic pathways, and understand the mechanisms by which organisms and communities respond to changes in their surroundings. Because many organisms cannot be cultivated, and given that the metabolisms of those growing in monoculture are likely to differ from those of organisms growing as part of consortia, it is vital to develop methods to study microbial communities in situ. Chemoautotrophic biofilms growing in mine tunnels hundreds of meters underground drive pyrite (FeS(2)) dissolution and acid and metal release, creating habitats that select for a small number of organism types. The geochemical and microbial simplicity of these systems, the significant biomass, and clearly defined biological-inorganic feedbacks make these ecosystem microcosms ideal for development of methods for the study of uncultivated microbial consortia. Our approach begins with the acquisition of genomic data from biofilms that are sampled over time and in different growth conditions. We have demonstrated that it is possible to assemble shotgun sequence data to reveal the gene complement of the dominant community members and to use these data to confidently identify a significant fraction of proteins from the dominant organisms by mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. However, there are technical obstacles currently restricting this type of "proteogenomic" analysis. Composite genomic sequences assembled from environmental data from natural microbial communities do not capture the full range of

  4. Does human activity impact the natural antibiotic resistance background? Abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in 21 Swiss lakes.

    PubMed

    Czekalski, Nadine; Sigdel, Radhika; Birtel, Julia; Matthews, Blake; Bürgmann, Helmut

    2015-08-01

    Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are emerging environmental contaminants, known to be continuously discharged into the aquatic environment via human and animal waste. Freshwater aquatic environments represent potential reservoirs for ARG and potentially allow sewage-derived ARG to persist and spread in the environment. This may create increased opportunities for an eventual contact with, and gene transfer to, human and animal pathogens via the food chain or drinking water. However, assessment of this risk requires a better understanding of the level and variability of the natural resistance background and the extent of the human impact. We have analyzed water samples from 21 Swiss lakes, taken at sampling points that were not under the direct influence of local contamination sources and analyzed the relative abundance of ARG using quantitative real-time PCR. Copy numbers of genes mediating resistance to three different broad-spectrum antibiotic classes (sulfonamides: sul1, sul2, tetracyclines: tet(B), tet(M), tet(W) and fluoroquinolones: qnrA) were normalized to copy numbers of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. We used multiple linear regression to assess if ARG abundance is related to human activities in the catchment, microbial community composition and the eutrophication status of the lakes. Sul genes were detected in all sampled lakes, whereas only four lakes contained quantifiable numbers of tet genes, and qnrA remained below detection in all lakes. Our data indicate higher abundance of sul1 in lakes with increasing number and capacity of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the catchment. sul2 abundance was rather related to long water residence times and eutrophication status. Our study demonstrates the potential of freshwater lakes to preserve antibiotic resistance genes, and provides a reference for ARG abundance from lake systems with low human impact as a baseline for assessing ARG contamination in lake water. PMID:25913323

  5. A hybrid approach to detect and localize texts in natural scene images.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yi-Feng; Hou, Xinwen; Liu, Cheng-Lin

    2011-03-01

    Text detection and localization in natural scene images is important for content-based image analysis. This problem is challenging due to the complex background, the non-uniform illumination, the variations of text font, size and line orientation. In this paper, we present a hybrid approach to robustly detect and localize texts in natural scene images. A text region detector is designed to estimate the text existing confidence and scale information in image pyramid, which help segment candidate text components by local binarization. To efficiently filter out the non-text components, a conditional random field (CRF) model considering unary component properties and binary contextual component relationships with supervised parameter learning is proposed. Finally, text components are grouped into text lines/words with a learning-based energy minimization method. Since all the three stages are learning-based, there are very few parameters requiring manual tuning. Experimental results evaluated on the ICDAR 2005 competition dataset show that our approach yields higher precision and recall performance compared with state-of-the-art methods. We also evaluated our approach on a multilingual image dataset with promising results. PMID:20813645

  6. Educating for and through Nature: A Merleau-Pontian Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ruyu

    2008-01-01

    This paper aims to explore the relationship between humans and nature and the implied intimacy, so-call "ecophilia," in light of the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. It is revealed from the Merleau-Pontian view of body and nature that there may be a more harmonious relationship between humankind and nature than the commonly assumed, and…

  7. Background Pathological Changes in Minipigs: A Comparison of the Incidence and Nature among Different Breeds and Populations of Minipigs.

    PubMed

    Helke, Kristi L; Nelson, Keith N; Sargeant, Aaron M; Jacob, Binod; McKeag, Sean; Haruna, Julius; Vemireddi, Vimala; Greeley, Melanie; Brocksmith, Derek; Navratil, Nicole; Stricker-Krongrad, Alain; Hollinger, Charlotte

    2016-04-01

    Swine, especially the miniature swine or minipigs, are increasingly being used in preclinical safety assessment of small molecules, biopharmaceutical agents, and medical devices as an alternate nonrodent species. Although swine have been used extensively in biomedical research, there is a paucity of information in the current literature detailing the incidence of background lesions and differences in incidence between commonly used breeds. This article is a collaborative effort between multiple organizations to define and document lesions found in the common breeds of minipigs used for toxicological risk assessment in North America (NA) and the European Union (EU). We retrospectively assessed 10 years of historical control data from several institutions located in NA and EU, covering the period of 2004-2015. Here we report the background lesions with consideration of breed and geographical location. To our knowledge, this is the first report documenting spontaneous background lesions in commonly used breeds of swine in both NA and EU. This report serves as a resource to pathologists and will aid in interpretation of findings and differentiation of background from test article-related changes. PMID:26534940

  8. Global Natural Disaster Risk Hotspots: Transition to a Regional Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerner-Lam, A.; Chen, R.; Dilley, M.

    2005-12-01

    The "Hotspots Project" is a collaborative study of the global distribution and occurrence of multiple natural hazards and the associated exposures of populations and their economic output. In this study we assess the global risks of two disaster-related outcomes: mortality and economic losses. We estimate risk levels by combining hazard exposure with historical vulnerability for two indicators of elements at risk-gridded population and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per unit area - for six major natural hazards: earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, drought, and cyclones. By calculating relative risks for each grid cell rather than for countries as a whole, we are able to estimate risk levels at sub-national scales. These can then be used to estimate aggregate relative multiple hazard risk at regional and national scales. Mortality-related risks are assessed on a 2.5' x 2.5' latitude-longitude grid of global population (GPW Version 3). Economic risks are assessed at the same resolution for gridded GDP per unit area, using World Bank estimates of GDP based on purchasing power parity. Global hazard data were compiled from multiple sources. The project collaborated directly with UNDP and UNEP, the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) at Columbia, and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) in the creation of data sets for several hazards for which global data sets did not previously exist. Drought, flood and volcano hazards are characterized in terms of event frequency, storms by frequency and severity, earthquakes by frequency and ground acceleration exceedance probability, and landslides by an index derived from probability of occurrence. The global analysis undertaken in this project is clearly limited by issues of scale as well as by the availability and quality of data. For some hazards, there exist only 15- to 25-year global records with relatively crude spatial information. Data on historical disaster losses, and particularly on

  9. Early Intervention Practitioner Approaches To Natural Environment Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raab, Melinda; Dunst, Carl J.

    2004-01-01

    Practitioner beliefs about and understanding of natural environment interventions were examined. Sixteen early intervention practitioners from two programs in a southeastern state were interviewed about their understanding and use of natural environments as sources of learning opportunities for young children. Practitioners in one program had…

  10. Early Intervention Practitioner Approaches to Natural Environment Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raab, Melinda; Dunst, Carl J.

    2004-01-01

    Practitioner beliefs about and understanding of natural environment interventions were examined. Sixteen early intervention practitioners from two programs in a southeastern state were interviewed about their understanding and use of natural environments as sources of learning opportunities for young children. Practitioners in one program had…

  11. A Geographic Approach to the Study of Natural Gas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheskin, Ira M.

    1980-01-01

    Provides information, tips, references, and materials to high school and college level geography teachers on developing a unit on natural gas. Data are presented in the form of tables, maps, figures, and textual analysis. (Author/DB)

  12. Integrated Molecular Analysis Indicates Undetectable Change in DNA Damage in Mice after Continuous Irradiation at ~ 400-fold Natural Background Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Olipitz, Werner; Wiktor-Brown, Dominika; Shuga, Joe; Pang, Bo; McFaline, Jose; Lonkar, Pallavi; Thomas, Aline; Mutamba, James T; Greenberger, Joel S; Samson, Leona D; Dedon, Peter C; Yanch, Jacquelyn C

    2012-01-01

    Background: In the event of a nuclear accident, people are exposed to elevated levels of continuous low dose-rate radiation. Nevertheless, most of the literature describes the biological effects of acute radiation. Objectives: DNA damage and mutations are well established for their carcinogenic effects. We assessed several key markers of DNA damage and DNA damage responses in mice exposed to low dose-rate radiation to reveal potential genotoxic effects associated with low dose-rate radiation. Methods: We studied low dose-rate radiation using a variable low dose-rate irradiator consisting of flood phantoms filled with 125Iodine-containing buffer. Mice were exposed to 0.0002 cGy/min (~ 400-fold background radiation) continuously over 5 weeks. We assessed base lesions, micronuclei, homologous recombination (HR; using fluorescent yellow direct repeat mice), and transcript levels for several radiation-sensitive genes. Results: We did not observe any changes in the levels of the DNA nucleobase damage products hypoxanthine, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine, 1,N6-ethenoadenine, or 3,N4-ethenocytosine above background levels under low dose-rate conditions. The micronucleus assay revealed no evidence that low dose-rate radiation induced DNA fragmentation, and there was no evidence of double strand break–induced HR. Furthermore, low dose-rate radiation did not induce Cdkn1a, Gadd45a, Mdm2, Atm, or Dbd2. Importantly, the same total dose, when delivered acutely, induced micronuclei and transcriptional responses. Conclusions: These results demonstrate in an in vivo animal model that lowering the dose-rate suppresses the potentially deleterious impact of radiation and calls attention to the need for a deeper understanding of the biological impact of low dose-rate radiation. PMID:22538203

  13. Novel approaches for stability improvement in natural medicines

    PubMed Central

    Thakur, Lovely; Ghodasra, Umang; Patel, Nilesh; Dabhi, Mahesh

    2011-01-01

    Natural product market has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. It results in the formulation of a number of proprietary herbal products, majority of them being multi-component formulations. With the advancement of herbal drug treatments, it has now been observed that many of the constituents present in the drug may react with each other, raising the serious concern about the stability of such formulations which is an important issue in the field of phytochemistry and natural medicines. Natural products are often prone to deterioration, especially during storage, leading to loss of active component, production of metabolites with no activity and, in extreme cases, production of toxic metabolites. This area needs to be addressed in order to determine the efficacy of the formulation. Understanding the problems related to natural product stability can give the idea of dealing with the stability issues. Modifications of the conventional herbal formulations can deal with the stability problems to a large extent. This article deals with the stability problems and is aimed to provide some tools and techniques to increase stability of natural medicines and herbal formulations. PMID:22096318

  14. Naturism and sexuality: broadening our approach to sexual wellbeing.

    PubMed

    Smith, Glenn; King, Michael

    2009-06-01

    This study aimed to investigate how people manage their sexuality when practicing naturism in the United Kingdom (UK). Thirty-nine self-identified naturists from across the UK were interviewed. Sexuality, when practicing naturism, was found often to be suppressed through the use of rules, geographical isolation and thoughts and behaviour. Some participants found ways of exploring and enjoying their sexuality by keeping feelings hidden and/or seeking out more sympathetic naturist environments. Naturist environments may offer a unique space in which to explore aspects of our sexuality that are currently pathologised, criminalised or commercialised. This has important implications for sexual health policy and promotion. PMID:18926761

  15. Emission Measurements from Natural Gas Development and Regional Background Characterization of Ambient Air Quality in the Marcellus Shale Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeCarlo, P. F.; Goetz, J.; Shaw, S. L.; Knipping, E. M.; Fortner, E.; Wormhoudt, J.; Massoli, P.; Floerchinger, C.; Brooks, B.; Herndon, S. C.; Kolb, C. E.; Knighton, W. B.

    2012-12-01

    Production of natural gas in the Marcellus shale formation is increasing rapidly due to the vast quantities of natural gas in the formation. Natural gas is liberated from the Marcellus Shale using horizontal drilling techniques, followed by hydraulic fracturing. Activities associated with preparation of a well pad, drilling of a well pad, fracturing of a well, and transport of materials (e.g. water, drilling equipment) to and from a well site, all have associated air emissions. Steady state gas production at well sites may also have additional contribution to air emissions of methane and NOx from gas transport infrastructure. A joint study with the Drexel University, Aerodyne Research and the Electric Power Research institute was conducted in the summer of 2012 to measure both the emissions from various stages of well development and to characterize current levels of air pollutants in the Marcellus Region. To achieve this, the Aerodyne mobile laboratory was deployed and measured in situ concentrations of a multitude of gas-phase and aerosol chemical components with state of the art instrumentation including quantum cascade laser systems, proton transfer mass spectrometry, tunable diode lasers and a soot particle aerosol mass spectrometer. Species quantified include CH4, C2H6, NO, NO2, CO, CO2, SO2, HONO, HOCO, HCOOH and many volatile organic compounds, and aerosol size and chemical composition. Real-time characterization of the air emissions from hydraulic fracturing and other shale gas operations allow for the estimation of emission factors that can be used in predictive air quality modeling for the region. Within the Marcellus Shale both areas of dry gas (>95% methane) and wet gas (contains higher levels of ethane and propane) are found. Measurements were conducted in two regions of Pennsylvania: the NE region that is predominantly dry gas, and the SW region where wet gas is found. A comparison of these two regions and associated impacts will be discussed

  16. CONCEPTUAL BASIS FOR NATURAL ATTENUATION (NA) AS REMEDIATION APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    As used in enforcement actions at hazardous waste sites by U.S. EPA, monitored natural attenuation is a remedy fully equivalent to any other remedy. The acceptance of MNA is based on three lines of evidence: historical ground water and/or soil chemistry data that demonstrates a ...

  17. Approaching Nature and Science through Outdoor Experience and Drama.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karvonen-Lee, Vireo

    1997-01-01

    Unit of study about rocks and the layers of the Earth focuses on building children's respect for nature by developing feelings of intimate relationship. Lesson plans include science activities (rock gathering, Earth models); "drama from the outside" (ritual to promote respect); literature readings; and "dramas from the inside" (guided imagery,…

  18. The approaches for the decision support in case natural hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vyazilov, Evgeny; Chunyaev, Nikita

    2013-04-01

    In spite of using highly automated systems of measurement, collecting, storing, handling, prediction and delivery of information on the marine environment, including natural hazards, the amount of damage from natural phenomena increases. Because information on the marine environment delivered to the industrial facilities not effectively used. To such information pays little attention by individual decision-makers and not always perform preventive measures necessary for reduce and prevent damage. Automation of information support will improve the efficiency management of the marine activities. In Russia develops "The Unified system of the information about World ocean" (ESIMO, http://esimo.ru/), that integrates observation, analysis, prognostic and climate data. Necessary to create tools to automatic selection natural disasters through all integrated data; notification decision-makers about arising natural hazards - software agent; provision of information in a compact form for the decision-makers; assessment of possible damage and costs to the preventive measures; providing information on the impacts of environment on economic facilities and recommendations for decision-making; the use of maps, diagrams, tables for reporting. Tools for automatic selection designed for identification of natural phenomena based on the resources ESIMO and corresponding critical values of the indicators environment. The result of this module will be constantly updated database of critical situations of environment for each object or technological process. To operational notify and provide current information about natural hazards proposes using a software agent that is installed on the computer decision-makers, which is activated in case critical situations and provides a minimum of information. In the event of natural disaster software agent should be able to inform decision-makers about this, providing information on the current situation, and the possibility for more and detailed

  19. Assessment of spatial distribution and radiological hazardous nature of radionuclides in high background radiation area, Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, V; Sundarrajan, M; Paramasivam, K; Meenakshisundaram, V; Suresh, G

    2013-03-01

    The concentration and distribution of the natural radionuclides ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) have been analyzed for the beach sediments of Kerala with an aim of evaluating the radiation hazards. The ranges of activity concentrations of (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K are BDL-1187 ± 21.7 Bq/kg, BDL-5328 ± 23.2 Bq/kg and BDL-693 ± 31.2 Bq/kg respectively. Radiological parameters such as absorbed dose rate, annual effective dose equivalent, annual gonadal dose equivalent, radium equivalent, hazard index, gamma Index, activity utilization index and excess lifetime cancer risk are calculated to know the complete radiological hazardous nature. Concentration of radionuclides ((238)U and (232)Th) and all the calculated radiological parameters are higher in site number S(23) (Chavara beach) due to the presence of rich deposits of black sands. Average concentrations of radionuclides ((238)U and (232)Th) and all calculated radiological parameters are higher than the recommended level. Both univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were applied effectively to assess the distribution of the radionuclides. Univariate statistical analysis shows that the confirmation of infrequent extreme deviations of all radioactive variables. Cluster analysis shows that light minerals play a role in cluster I sampling sites and heavy minerals may be played in sampling sites of other clusters. Calculated activity ratio confirmed the presence of light and heavy minerals in above mentioned sampling sites. The Kerala beach sediments pose significant radiological threat to the people living in the area and tourists going to the beaches for recreation or to the sailors and fishermen involved in their activities in the study area. PMID:23262126

  20. Role of light and heavy minerals on natural radioactivity level of high background radiation area, Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, V; Sundarrajan, M; Suresh, G; Paramasivam, K; Meenakshisundaram, V

    2014-02-01

    Natural radionuclides ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) concentrations and eight different radiological parameters have been analyzed for the beach sediments of Kerala with an aim of evaluating the radiation hazards. Activity concentrations ((238)U and (232)Th) and all the radiological parameters in most of the sites have higher values than recommended values. The Kerala beach sediments pose significant radiological threat to the people living in the area and tourists going to the beaches for recreation or to the sailors and fishermen involved in their activities in the study area. In order to know the light mineral characterization of the present sediments, mineralogical analysis has been carried out using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic technique. The eight different minerals are identified and they are characterized. Among the various observed minerals, the minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, kaolinite and calcite are major minerals. The relative distribution of major minerals is determined by calculating extinction co-efficient and the values show that the amount of quartz is higher than calcite and much higher than microcline feldspar. Crystallinity index is calculated to know the crystalline nature of quartz present in the sediments. Heavy mineral separation analysis has been carried out to know the total heavy mineral (THM) percentage. This analysis revealed the presence of nine heavy minerals. The minerals such as monazite, zircon, magnetite and illmenite are predominant. Due to the rapid and extreme changes occur in highly dynamic environments of sandy beaches, quantities of major light and heavy minerals are widely varied from site to site. Granulometric analysis shows that the sand is major content. Multivariate statistical (Pearson correlation, cluster and factor) analysis has been carried out to know the effect of mineralogy on radionuclide concentrations. The present study concluded that heavy minerals induce the (238)U and (232)Th

  1. Radon exhalation rate and natural radionuclide content in building materials of high background areas of Ramsar, Iran.

    PubMed

    Bavarnegin, E; Fathabadi, N; Vahabi Moghaddam, M; Vasheghani Farahani, M; Moradi, M; Babakhni, A

    2013-03-01

    Radon exhalation rates from building materials used in high background radiation areas (HBRA) of Ramsar were measured using an active radon gas analyzer with an emanation container. Radon exhalation rates from these samples varied from below the lower detection limit up to 384 Bq.m(-2) h(-1). The (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K contents were also measured using a high resolution HPGe gamma- ray spectrometer system. The activity concentration of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K content varied from below the minimum detection limit up to 86,400 Bq kg(-1), 187 Bq kg(-1) and 1350 Bq kg(-1), respectively. The linear correlation coefficient between radon exhalation rate and radium concentration was 0.90. The result of this survey shows that radon exhalation rate and radium content in some local stones used as basements are extremely high and these samples are main sources of indoor radon emanation as well as external gamma radiation from uranium series. PMID:22280998

  2. Sparsely ionizing diagnostic and natural background radiations are likely preventing cancer and other genomic-instability-associated diseases.

    PubMed

    Scott, Bobby R; Di Palma, Jennifer

    2007-01-01

    Routine diagnostic X-rays (e.g., chest X-rays, mammograms, computed tomography scans) and routine diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures using sparsely ionizing radiation forms (e.g., beta and gamma radiations) stimulate the removal of precancerous neo-plastically transformed and other genomically unstable cells from the body (medical radiation hormesis). The indicated radiation hormesis arises because radiation doses above an individual-specific stochastic threshold activate a system of cooperative protective processes that include high-fidelity DNA repair/apoptosis (presumed p53 related), an auxiliary apoptosis process (PAM process) that is presumed p53-independent, and stimulated immunity. These forms of induced protection are called adapted protection because they are associated with the radiation adaptive response. Diagnostic X-ray sources, other sources of sparsely ionizing radiation used in nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures, as well as radioisotope-labeled immunoglobulins could be used in conjunction with apoptosis-sensitizing agents (e.g., the natural phenolic compound resveratrol) in curing existing cancer via low-dose fractionated or low-dose, low-dose-rate therapy (therapeutic radiation hormesis). Evidence is provided to support the existence of both therapeutic (curing existing cancer) and medical (cancer prevention) radiation hormesis. Evidence is also provided demonstrating that exposure to environmental sparsely ionizing radiations, such as gamma rays, protect from cancer occurrence and the occurrence of other diseases via inducing adapted protection (environmental radiation hormesis). PMID:18648608

  3. Systems Biology Approaches to Understand Natural Products Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Licona-Cassani, Cuauhtemoc; Cruz-Morales, Pablo; Manteca, Angel; Barona-Gomez, Francisco; Nielsen, Lars K.; Marcellin, Esteban

    2015-01-01

    Actinomycetes populate soils and aquatic sediments that impose biotic and abiotic challenges for their survival. As a result, actinomycetes metabolism and genomes have evolved to produce an overwhelming diversity of specialized molecules. Polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, post-translationally modified peptides, lactams, and terpenes are well-known bioactive natural products with enormous industrial potential. Accessing such biological diversity has proven difficult due to the complex regulation of cellular metabolism in actinomycetes and to the sparse knowledge of their physiology. The past decade, however, has seen the development of omics technologies that have significantly contributed to our better understanding of their biology. Key observations have contributed toward a shift in the exploitation of actinomycete’s biology, such as using their full genomic potential, activating entire pathways through key metabolic elicitors and pathway engineering to improve biosynthesis. Here, we review recent efforts devoted to achieving enhanced discovery, activation, and manipulation of natural product biosynthetic pathways in model actinomycetes using genome-scale biological datasets. PMID:26697425

  4. Hepatitis C Virus and Natural Compounds: a New Antiviral Approach?

    PubMed Central

    Calland, Noémie; Dubuisson, Jean; Rouillé, Yves; Séron, Karin

    2012-01-01

    Hepatitis C is a major global health burden with an estimated 160 million infected individuals worldwide. This long-term disease evolves slowly, often leading to chronicity and potentially to liver failure. There is no anti-HCV vaccine, and, until recently, the only treatment available, based on pegylated interferon and ribavirin, was partially effective, and had considerable side effects. With recent advances in the understanding of the HCV life cycle, the development of promising direct acting antivirals (DAAs) has been achieved. Their use in combination with the current treatment has led to encouraging results for HCV genotype 1 patients. However, this therapy is quite expensive and will probably not be accessible for all patients worldwide. For this reason, constant efforts are being made to identify new antiviral molecules. Recent reports about natural compounds highlight their antiviral activity against HCV. Here, we aim to review the natural molecules that interfere with the HCV life cycle and discuss their potential use in HCV therapy. PMID:23202460

  5. Stream Corridor Lowering for Servicing: Considerations and Approaches to Natural Channel Design in Southern Ontario, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villard, P. V.

    2009-05-01

    Although there are numerous approaches to natural channel design, all approaches generally advocate application of geomorphic principles to develop stable watercourses with improved habitat function. In southern Ontario, natural channel design approaches are increasingly utilized in stream corridor management. In numerous greenfield developments within southern Ontario, creek corridors are lowered and relocated to address potential hazards and facilitate development. These projects usually utilize natural channel design approaches. Although lowering for servicing can be a controversial technique, this approach has resulted in the maintenance of channels that may have previously been enclosed and lost. In the southern Ontario context mimicking natural corridor form and function is complicated by a surficial geology dominated by glacial sediments. Approaches to natural channel design have evolved over time to address this encumbrance. This presentation examines the geomorphology of streams and stream corridors within southern Ontario. Case studies from southern Ontario are provided to illustrate many of the impediments to, and innovations in, natural channel design. This lays the foundation for illustrating how these design approaches address potential hazards, provide for stream form and function, and mimic much of the physical and biological interactions found within natural stream corridors.

  6. Systematic approaches to comprehensive analyses of natural organic matter

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leenheer, Jerry A.

    2009-01-01

    The more that is learned of the chemistry of aquatic natural organic matter (NOM) the greater is the scientific appreciation of the vast complexity of this subject. This complexity is due not only to a multiplicity of precursor molecules in any environment but to their associations with each other and with other components of local environments such as clays, mineral acids and dissolved metals. In addition, this complex system is subject to constant change owing to environmental variables and microbial action. Thus, there is a good argument that no two NOM samples are exactly the same even from the same source at nearly the same time. When ubiquity of occurrence, reaction with water treatment chemicals, and subsequent human exposure are added to the list of NOM issues, one can understand the appeal that this subject holds for a wide variety of environmental scientists.

  7. Rill erosion in natural and disturbed forests: 2. Modeling Approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagenbrenner, J. W.; Robichaud, P. R.; Elliot, W. J.

    2010-10-01

    As forest management scenarios become more complex, the ability to more accurately predict erosion from those scenarios becomes more important. In this second part of a two-part study we report model parameters based on 66 simulated runoff experiments in two disturbed forests in the northwestern U.S. The 5 disturbance classes were natural, 10-month old and 2-week old low soil burn severity, high soil burn severity, and logging skid trails. In these environments the erosion rates were clearly detachment limited, and the rill erodibility parameters calculated from four hydraulic variables increased by orders of magnitude. The soil shear stress based erodibility parameter, Kr, was 1.5 × 10-6 s m-1in the natural plots, 2.0 × 10-4 s m-1 in the high soil burn severity plots, and 1.7 × 10-3 s m-1 in the skid trail plots; Kr values for the low soil burn severity plots had negative sign. The erodibility value for the skid trail plots fell within ranges reported for tilled agricultural fields and also for forest roads. The Kr values decreased as erosion occurred in the plots and therefore should not be a constant parameter. The stream power produced the largest R2 value (0.41) when hydraulic predictors and the sediment flux were log-transformed, but none of the four hydraulic variables (soil shear stress, stream power, unit stream power, and unit length shear force) explained much of the variability in sediment flux rates across the five levels of disturbance when evaluated in the linear form of the erosion models under consideration.

  8. Parents' Experiences of the Provision of Community-Based Family Support and Therapy Services Utilizing the Strengths Approach and Natural Learning Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Glenys; Armitstead, Clare; Rodger, Sylvia; Liddle, Gwen

    2010-01-01

    Background: In recent years, community based therapy service providers have explored different service delivery models to optimize child and family outcomes. This qualitative study aimed to explore parents' experiences of one particular service team that adopted a strengths approach, utilizing natural learning environments. Materials and methods:…

  9. Evaluation of natural language processing systems: Issues and approaches

    SciTech Connect

    Guida, G.; Mauri, G.

    1986-07-01

    This paper encompasses two main topics: a broad and general analysis of the issue of performance evaluation of NLP systems and a report on a specific approach developed by the authors and experimented on a sample test case. More precisely, it first presents a brief survey of the major works in the area of NLP systems evaluation. Then, after introducing the notion of the life cycle of an NLP system, it focuses on the concept of performance evaluation and analyzes the scope and the major problems of the investigation. The tools generally used within computer science to assess the quality of a software system are briefly reviewed, and their applicability to the task of evaluation of NLP systems is discussed. Particular attention is devoted to the concepts of efficiency, correctness, reliability, and adequacy, and how all of them basically fail in capturing the peculiar features of performance evaluation of an NLP system is discussed. Two main approaches to performance evaluation are later introduced; namely, black-box- and model-based, and their most important characteristics are presented. Finally, a specific model for performance evaluation proposed by the authors is illustrated, and the results of an experiment with a sample application are reported. The paper concludes with a discussion on research perspective, open problems, and importance of performance evaluation to industrial applications.

  10. COMPARISON OF NATURAL BACKGROUND DOSE RATES FOR RESIDENTS OF THE AMARGOSA VALLEY, NV, TO THOSE IN LEADVILLE, CO, AND THE STATES OF COLORADO AND NEVADA

    SciTech Connect

    D. Moeller and L. C. Sun

    2006-02-24

    In the latter half of 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published a Proposed Rule (40 CFR Part 197) for establishing a dose rate standard for limiting radionuclide releases from the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste repository during the time period from 10{sup 4} to 10{sup 6} years after closure. The proposed standard was based on the difference in the estimated total dose rate from natural background in the Amargosa Valley and the ''average annual background radiation'' for the State of Colorado. As defined by the USEPA, ''natural background radiation consists of external exposures from cosmic and terrestrial sources, and internal exposures from indoor exposures to naturally-occurring radon''. On the basis of its assessments, the USEPA estimated that the difference in the dose rate in the two identified areas was 3.5 mSv y{sup -1}. The purpose of this review was to provide an independent evaluation and review of this estimate. One of the first observations was that, because site-specific dose rate measurements for the Amargosa Valley ''were not available'', the dose rates for various sources of natural background in that area, used by the USEPA in its assessment, were based on modifications of the average values for the State of Nevada. A second observation was that the conversion factor applied in estimating the dose rates due to exposures to indoor radon and its decay products was a factor of 2 higher than the currently accepted value. Further review revealed that site-specific data for many natural background sources in the Amargosa Valley were available. One particularly important observation was that about 91% of the residents of that area live in mobile homes which, due to their construction and design, have indoor radon concentrations comparable to, or less than, those outdoors. For that reason, alone, the USEPA estimate of the average dose rate for residents of the Amargosa Valley, due to indoor radon, was not valid

  11. Ion mobility spectrometry nuisance alarm threshold analysis for illicit narcotics based on environmental background and a ROC-curve approach.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Thomas P; Najarro, Marcela

    2016-07-21

    The discriminative potential of an ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) for trace detection of illicit narcotics relative to environmental background was investigated with a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve framework. The IMS response of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and Δ(9)-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) was evaluated against environmental background levels derived from the screening of incoming delivery vehicles at a federal facility. Over 20 000 samples were collected over a multiyear period under two distinct sets of instrument operating conditions, a baseline mode and an increased desorption/drift tube temperature and sampling time mode. ROC curves provided a quantifiable representation of the interplay between sensitivity (true positive rate, TPR) and specificity (1 - false positive rate, FPR). A TPR of 90% and minimized FPR were targeted as the detection limits of IMS for the selected narcotics. MDMA, THC, and cocaine demonstrated single nanogram sensitivity at 90% TPR and <10% FPR, with improvements to both MDMA and cocaine in the elevated temperature/increased sampling mode. Detection limits in the tens of nanograms with poor specificity (FPR ≈ 20%) were observed for methamphetamine and heroin under baseline conditions. However, elevating the temperature reduced the background in the methamphetamine window, drastically improving its response (90% TPR and 3.8% FPR at 1 ng). On the contrary, the altered mode conditions increased the level of background for THC and heroin, partially offsetting observed enhancements to desorption. The presented framework demonstrated the significant effect environmental background distributions have on sensitivity and specificity. PMID:27206280

  12. Determination of environmental radioactivity (238U, 232Th and 40K) and indoor natural background radiation level in Chennai city (Tamilnadu State), India.

    PubMed

    Babai, K S; Poongothai, S; Punniyakotti, J

    2013-01-01

    An extensive study on the determination of the natural radioactivity ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) levels in soil samples of Chennai city, India has been undertaken and the results of the same are compared with the levels reported in other Indian cities as well as other parts of the world. The radioactivity content in the soil samples, the absorbed dose rate, annual effective dose equivalent, radium equivalent activity, internal and external hazard indices were calculated and compared with UNSCEAR 2000 recommended values. In addition to the above, mapping of indoor natural background gamma radiation levels has been made using thermo luminescent dosemeters throughout Chennai city and the same are reported. PMID:22847868

  13. A combined approach of Kullback-Leibler divergence and background subtraction for moving object detection in thermal video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadav, Dileep Kumar; Singh, Karan

    2016-05-01

    In this work, a robust method for moving object detection in thermal video frames has been proposed by including Kullback-Leibler divergence (KLD) based threshold and background subtraction (BGS) technique. A trimmed-mean based background model has been developed that is capable enough to reduce noise or dynamic component of the background. This work assumed that each pixel has normally distributed. The KLD has computed between background pixel and a current pixel with the help of Gaussian mixture model. The proposed threshold is useful enough to classify the state of each pixel. The post-processing step uses morphological tool for edge linking, and then the flood-fill algorithm has applied for hole-filling, and finally the silhouette of targeted object has generated. The proposed methods run faster and have validated over various real-time based problematic thermal video sequences. In the experimental results, the average value of F1-score, area under the curve, the percentage of correct classification, Matthew's correlation coefficient show higher values whereas total error and percentage of the wrong classification show minimum values. Moreover, the proposed-1 method achieved higher accuracy and execution speed with minimum false alarm rate that has been compared with proposed-2 as well as considered peer methods in the real-time thermal video.

  14. Introducing OVAL Writing: A New Approach to Chinese Character Retention for Secondary Non-Chinese-Speaking Background Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ren, Guanxin

    2004-01-01

    One of the difficulties secondary non-Chinese-speaking background (NCSB) learners are facing is to remember the characters learned in order to recall them when necessary. The traditional way of teaching secondary NCSB learners to remember Chinese characters is through mere repetition, e.g. writing out each single character by following its stroke…

  15. Five C Framework: A Student-Centered Approach for Teaching Programming Courses to Students with Diverse Disciplinary Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tom, Mary

    2015-01-01

    The already existing complexities of teaching and learning computer programming are increased where students are diverse in their disciplinary backgrounds, language skills, and culture. Learners experience emotional issues of anxiety, fear or boredom. Identifying opportunities for improvement and applying theoretical and empirical evidence found…

  16. Examination of the Cross-Battery Approach for the Cognitive Assessment of Children and Youth from Diverse Linguistic and Cultural Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kranzler, John H.; Flores, Cindi G.; Coady, Maria

    2010-01-01

    Flanagan, Ortiz, and Alfonso (2007) recently developed the Culture-Language Interpretive Matrices (C-LIMs) for the cognitive assessment of children and youth from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. To examine the utility of this new approach, we administered the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities to a sample of students…

  17. Rethinking Natural Environment Practice: Implications from Examining Various Interpretations and Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chai, Angie Y.; Zhang, Chun; Bisberg, Marilyn

    2006-01-01

    Early intervention professionals have implemented natural environment practices for over a decade, despite the continued debate on how to interpret and implement this practice. This article reviews several theoretical frameworks for understanding natural environment practice, and also summarizes different approaches for implementation. The authors…

  18. Of the necessity of knowledge of the natural pedo-geochemical background content in the evaluation of the contamination of soils by trace elements.

    PubMed

    Baize, D; Sterckeman, T

    2001-01-01

    In order to evaluate the contamination of the Dornach (Switzerland) site within the framework of the CEEM-Soil project, each participating team was allowed to take a maximum of 15 samples. The French team's sampling was organized in such a way as to answer the following questions: (i) what is the natural concentration of the soils at this site (local pedo-geochemical background content)?; (ii) what are the levels of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn contamination of the soil?; (iii) what is the depth reached by the surface contamination that is derived from atmospheric fallout?; (iv) how is the contamination spread along the longest axis of the area under study? The relationships between total Fe and the trace metals have allowed local variations in the natural pedo-geochemical background content to be detected and thus permitted the anthropogenic contamination to be estimated. There would appear to be a low level of Pb contamination over all the site investigated (an increase of the order of 5-10 mg kg(-1) on the background level), limited to the surface humus-bearing layers. There is also a significant contamination by Cu over all of the site (an increase of the order of 30-40 mg kg(-1)). This contamination has remained in the surface horizons (0-20 cm). Very high Zn and Cd concentrations have been found in the four surface (0-4 cm) and deep horizons (15-70 cm) taken under the forest and very much lower values in the samples taken from cultivated soils. The most likely explanation is an unequal inheritance between the upper part of the site (wooded with thinner very clayey soils) and the lower cultivated part of the site (with thicker less clayey soils developed in a loamy material). For various reasons, it seems unlikely that a contamination of the wooded part should be so much higher than the cultivated part due to the interception of atmospheric dust by the trees. The local pedo-geochemical background Cd and Zn content of the upper wooded part proved to be clearly higher than

  19. Learning Nature of Science Concepts through a Research Apprenticeship Program: A Comparative Study of Three Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burgin, Stephen R.; Sadler, Troy D.

    2016-01-01

    The merits of three approaches (explicit, reflective and implicit) to Nature of Science (NOS) teaching and learning in the context of a summer research experience on high school student participants' NOS ideas were explored in this study. The effectiveness of explicit over implicit approaches has been demonstrated in school contexts, but less…

  20. How to Use Historical Approach to Teach Nature of Science in Chemistry Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tolvanen, Simo; Jansson, Jan; Vesterinen, Veli-Matti; Aksela, Maija

    2014-01-01

    Successful implementation of historical approach to teach nature of science (NOS) requires suitable curriculum material. Several research and development projects have produced lesson plans for science teachers. 25 lesson plans from four different projects involved in creating curriculum material utilizing historical approach in chemistry…

  1. Teaching Nature of Science to Pre-Service Early Childhood Teachers through an Explicit Reflective Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cil, Emine

    2014-01-01

    In this study, fifteen pre-service early childhood teachers' views of nature of science (NOS) were analysed. The student teachers took a course where NOS was taught via explicit reflective approach. The explicit reflective approach advocates that goal of improving students' NOS views should be planned for instead of being anticipated as…

  2. The inextricable axis of targeted diagnostic imaging and therapy: An immunological natural history approach.

    PubMed

    Cope, Frederick O; Abbruzzese, Bonnie; Sanders, James; Metz, Wendy; Sturms, Kristyn; Ralph, David; Blue, Michael; Zhang, Jane; Bracci, Paige; Bshara, Wiam; Behr, Spencer; Maurer, Toby; Williams, Kenneth; Walker, Joshua; Beverly, Allison; Blay, Brooke; Damughatla, Anirudh; Larsen, Mark; Mountain, Courtney; Neylon, Erin; Parcel, Kaeli; Raghuraman, Kapil; Ricks, Kevin; Rose, Lucas; Sivakumar, Akhilesh; Streck, Nicholas; Wang, Bryan; Wasco, Christopher; Williams, Amifred; McGrath, Michael

    2016-03-01

    In considering the challenges of approaches to clinical imaging, we are faced with choices that sometimes are impacted by rather dogmatic notions about what is a better or worse technology to achieve the most useful diagnostic image for the patient. For example, is PET or SPECT most useful in imaging any particular disease dissemination? The dictatorial approach would be to choose PET, all other matters being equal. But is such a totalitarian attitude toward imaging selection still valid? In the face of new receptor targeted SPECT agents one must consider the remarkable specificity and sensitivity of these agents. (99m)Tc-Tilmanocept is one of the newest of these agents, now approved for guiding sentinel node biopsy (SLNB) in several solid tumors. Tilmanocept has a Kd of 3×10(-11)M, and it specificity for the CD206 receptor is unlike any other agent to date. This coupled with a number of facts, that specific disease-associated macrophages express this receptor (100 to 150 thousand receptors), that the receptor has multiple binding sites for tilmanocept (>2 sites per receptor) and that these receptors are recycled every 15 min to bind more tilmanocept (acting as intracellular "drug compilers" of tilmanocept into non-degraded vesicles), gives serious pause as to how we select our approaches to diagnostic imaging. Clinically, the size of SLNs varies greatly, some, anatomically, below the machine resolution of SPECT. Yet, with tilmanocept targeting, the SLNs are highly visible with macrophages stably accruing adequate (99m)Tc-tilmanocept counting statistics, as high target-to-background ratios can compensate for spatial resolution blurring. Importantly, it may be targeted imaging agents per se, again such as tilmanocept, which may significantly shrink any perceived chasm between the imaging technologies and anchor the diagnostic considerations in the targeting and specificity of the agent rather than any lingering dogma about the hardware as the basis for imaging

  3. The Ecology of the Family. A Background Paper for a Family-Centered Approach to Education and Social Service Delivery.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Connard, Christie; Novick, Rebecca

    This paper synthesizes research, theories, and practical knowledge from developmental psychology and sociology to provide a basis for understanding, planning, and implementing effective and supportive partnerships between human-services providers and families. A family-centered approach is a process for delivering services to families, a…

  4. 'Natural background' soil water repellency in conifer forests of the north-western USA: Its prediction and relationship to wildfire occurrence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doerr, S.H.; Woods, S.W.; Martin, D.A.; Casimiro, M.

    2009-01-01

    Soils under a wide range of vegetation types exhibit water repellency following the passage of a fire. This is viewed by many as one of the main causes for accelerated post-fire runoff and soil erosion and it has often been assumed that strong soil water repellency present after wildfire is fire-induced. However, high levels of repellency have also been reported under vegetation types not affected by fire, and the question arises to what degree the water repellency observed at burnt sites actually results from fire. This study aimed at determining 'natural background' water repellency in common coniferous forest types in the north-western USA. Mature or semi-mature coniferous forest sites (n = 81), which showed no evidence of recent fires and had at least some needle cast cover, were sampled across six states. After careful removal of litter and duff at each site, soil water repellency was examined in situ at the mineral soil surface using the Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) method for three sub-sites, followed by collecting near-surface mineral soil layer samples (0-3 cm depth). Following air-drying, samples were further analyzed for repellency using WDPT and contact angle (??sl) measurements. Amongst other variables examined were dominant tree type, ground vegetation, litter and duff layer depth, slope angle and aspect, elevation, geology, and soil texture, organic carbon content and pH. 'Natural background' water repellency (WDPT > 5 s) was detected in situ and on air-dry samples at 75% of all sites examined irrespective of dominant tree species (Pinus ponderosa, Pinus contorta, Picea engelmanii and Pseudotsuga menziesii). These findings demonstrate that the soil water repellency commonly observed in these forest types following burning is not necessarily the result of recent fire but can instead be a natural characteristic. The notion of a low background water repellency being typical for long-unburnt conifer forest soils of the north-western USA is

  5. Microcomputer-Based Approaches for Preventing Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Adolescents from Ethnic-Racial Minority Backgrounds

    PubMed Central

    Moncher, Michael S.; Parms, Clifford A.; Orlandi, Mario A.; Schinke, Steven P.; Miller, Samuel O.; Palleja, Josephine; Schinke, Mary B.

    2006-01-01

    This study was designed to empirically assess the potential of microcomputer-based intervention with black adolescents from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Subjects were 26, 11 through 14-year-old black females and males recruited from three boroughs in New York City. A sample task was administered via microcomputer system followed by a postintervention measurement battery. Observational measures were also employed to assess interactional variables. Subjects’ attitudes toward educational content in general, and toward drug and alcohol information delivery in particular, appeared to be a significant intervening variable that could alter the overall efficacy of computer-delivered interventions. Both observational and postintervention measures indicated an overall positive subject response to computer-administered instruction. In contrast, however, respondents indicated a negative response to microcomputer delivery of drug and alcohol related materials. Results of the experiment are discussed along with rationales and future research directions. PMID:17387376

  6. Copy, edit, and paste: natural product approaches to biomaterials and neuroengineering.

    PubMed

    Gademann, Karl

    2015-03-17

    Progress in the chemical sciences has formed the world we live in, both on a macroscopic and on a nanoscopic scale. The last century witnessed the development of high performance materials that interact with humans on many layers, from clothing to construction, from media to medical devices. On a molecular level, natural products and their derivatives influence many biological processes, and these compounds have enormously contributed to the health and quality of living of humans. Although coatings of stone materials with oils or resins (containing natural products) have led to improved tools already millennia ago, in contrast today, natural product approaches to designer materials, that is, combining the best of both worlds, remain scarce. In this Account, we will summarize our recent research efforts directed to the generation of natural product functionalized materials, exploiting the strategy of "copy, edit, and paste with natural products". Natural products embody the wisdom of evolution, and only total synthesis is able to unlock the secrets enshrined in their molecular structure. We employ total synthesis ("copy") as a scientific approach to address problems related to molecular structure, the biosynthesis of natural products, and their bioactivity. Additionally, the fundamental desire to investigate the mechanism of action of natural products constitutes a key driver for scientific inquiry. In an emerging area of relevance to society, we have prepared natural products such as militarinone D that can stimulate neurite outgrowth and facilitate nerve regeneration. This knowledge obtained by synthetic organic chemistry on complex natural products can then be used to design structurally simplified compounds that retain the biological power of the parent natural product ("edit"). This process, sometimes referred to as function-oriented synthesis, allows obtaining derivatives with better properties, improving their chemical tractability and reducing the step count

  7. Multi-Site Application of the Geomechanical Approach for Natural Fracture Exploration

    SciTech Connect

    R. L. Billingsley; V. Kuuskraa

    2006-03-31

    In order to predict the nature and distribution of natural fracturing, Advanced Resources Inc. (ARI) incorporated concepts of rock mechanics, geologic history, and local geology into a geomechanical approach for natural fracture prediction within mildly deformed, tight (low-permeability) gas reservoirs. Under the auspices of this project, ARI utilized and refined this approach in tight gas reservoir characterization and exploratory activities in three basins: the Piceance, Wind River and the Anadarko. The primary focus of this report is the knowledge gained on natural fractural prediction along with practical applications for enhancing gas recovery and commerciality. Of importance to tight formation gas production are two broad categories of natural fractures: (1) shear related natural fractures and (2) extensional (opening mode) natural fractures. While arising from different origins this natural fracture type differentiation based on morphology is sometimes inter related. Predicting fracture distribution successfully is largely a function of collecting and understanding the available relevant data in conjunction with a methodology appropriate to the fracture origin. Initially ARI envisioned the geomechanical approach to natural fracture prediction as the use of elastic rock mechanics methods to project the nature and distribution of natural fracturing within mildly deformed, tight (low permeability) gas reservoirs. Technical issues and inconsistencies during the project prompted re-evaluation of these initial assumptions. ARI's philosophy for the geomechanical tools was one of heuristic development through field site testing and iterative enhancements to make it a better tool. The technology and underlying concepts were refined considerably during the course of the project. As with any new tool, there was a substantial learning curve. Through a heuristic approach, addressing these discoveries with additional software and concepts resulted in a stronger set of

  8. One-pot three-enzyme chemoenzymatic approach to the synthesis of sialosides containing natural and non-natural functionalities

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Hai; Chokhawala, Harshal; Huang, Shengshu; Chen, Xi

    2008-01-01

    Chemoenzymatic synthesis, which combines the flexibility of chemical synthesis and the highly selectivity of enzymatic synthesis, is a powerful approach to obtain complex carbohydrates. It is a preferred method for synthesizing sialic acid-containing structures, including those with diverse naturally occurring and non-natural sialic acid forms, different sialyl linkages, and different glycans that link to the sialic acid. Starting from N-acetylmannosamine, mannose, or their chemically or enzymatically modified derivatives, sialic acid aldolase-catalyzed condensation reaction leads to the formation of sialic acids and their derivatives. These compounds are subsequently activated by a CMP-sialic acid synthetase and transferred to a wide range of suitable acceptors by a suitable sialyltransferase for the formation of sialosides containing natural and non-natural functionalities. The three-enzyme coupled synthesis of sialosides can be carried out in one pot without the isolation of intermediates. The time for synthesis is 4–18 h. Purification and characterization of the product can be completed in 2–3 d. PMID:17406495

  9. A direct approach for instantaneous 3D density field reconstruction from background-oriented schlieren (BOS) measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolas, F.; Todoroff, V.; Plyer, A.; Le Besnerais, G.; Donjat, D.; Micheli, F.; Champagnat, F.; Cornic, P.; Le Sant, Y.

    2016-01-01

    We present a new numerical method for reconstruction of instantaneous density volume from 3D background-oriented schlieren (3DBOS) measurements, with a validation on a dedicated flexible experimental BOS bench. In contrast to previous works, we use a direct formulation where density is estimated from measured deviation fields without the intermediate step of density gradient reconstruction. Regularization techniques are implemented to deal with the ill-posed problem encountered. The resulting high-dimensional optimization is conducted by conjugate gradient techniques. A parallel algorithm, implemented on graphics processing unit, helps to speed up the calculation. The resulting software is validated on synthetic BOS images of a 3D density field issued from a numerical simulation. Then, we describe a dedicated 3DBOS experimental facility which has been built to study various BOS settings and to assess the performance of the proposed numerical reconstruction process. Results on various datasets illustrate the potential of the method for flow characterization and measurement in real-world conditions.

  10. Exploring the background features of acidic and basic air pollutants around an industrial complex using data mining approach.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ho-Wen; Tsai, Ching-Tsan; She, Chin-Wen; Lin, Yo-Chen; Chiang, Chow-Feng

    2010-11-01

    Air pollution data around a monitored site are normally difficult to analyze due to highly inter-related meteorological and topographical factors on top of many complicated atmospheric chemical interactions occurred in local and regional wind fields. The challenge prompts this study to develop a comprehensive data-mining algorithm of cluster analysis followed by meteorological and interspecies correlations to mitigate the inherent data complexity and dissimilarity. This study investigated the background features of acidic and basic air pollutants around a high-tech industrial park in Taiwan. Monthly samplings were taken at 10 sites around the park in a year. The temporal distribution plots show a baseline with two characteristic groups of high and low peaks. Hierarchical cluster analysis confirms that high peaks were primarily associated with low speed south wind in summer for all the chemical species, except for F(-), Cl(-), NH(3) and HF. Crosschecking with the topographical map identifies several major external sources in south and southwest. Further meteorological correlation suggests that HCl is highly positively associated with humidity, while Cl(-) is highly negatively associated with temperature, both for most stations. Interestingly, HNO(3) is highly negatively associated with wind speed for most stations and the hotspot was found in summer and around the foothill of Da-Tu Mountain in the northwest, a stagnant pocket on the study site. However, F(-) is highly positively associated with wind speed at downwind stations to the prevailing north wind in winter, indicating an internal source from the north. The presence of NH(4)(+) stimulates the formation of NO(3)(-), SO(4)(-2) (R=0.7), and HNO(3), H(2)SO(4), NH(3) (R=0.3-0.4). As H(2)SO(4) could be elevated to a level as high as 40% of the regulated standard, species interactions may be a dominate mechanism responsible for the substantial increase in summer from external sources. PMID:20825963

  11. Paleolimnological approach to the separation of the effects of anthropogenic and natural factors on the lake ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sapelko, Tatyana; Shemanaev, Kirill; Kuznetsov, Denis; Ignatieva, Natalia; Ludikova, Anna

    2013-04-01

    Studying the influence of anthropogenic factors on lakes ecosystem usually involves only the upper centimeters of lake sediments, accumulated over a short period of about 50 years. However, these "short cores", in fact, mostly cover only the industrial period (the period with significant human impact), leaving out the background conditions and the influence of the natural factors. Paleolimnological approach, i.e. obtaining data from the "long cores" (accumulated over millennia) allows us to trace average natural values of the studied parameters (the content of metals, phosphorus and organic matter) in the pre-industrial period (without human impact), as well as extreme natural values, such as those associated with climate change or changes in the lake level. The reasons of the extreme values we can explain by pollen, diatom and other analyses. The mathematical calculations based on the raw geochemical data from the continuous lake sediments ("long cores") were performed to evaluate the variation in the percentage ratio of natural and anthropogenic factors. The new method has already been tested on several lakes. In all lakes we studied the variations in the content of metals, phosphorus and organic matter in the long sediment cores. We also obtained results of lithological, palynological, diatom analyses. We defined the stages of lakes history and established chronological boundaries of these stages. With the mathematical method, we tried to calculate the percentage of anthropogenic probability impacts for each lake, based on primary sufficiently accurate comprehensive data from study of the continuous lake sediment cores during the Holocene.

  12. Affinity Crystallography: A New Approach to Extracting High-Affinity Enzyme Inhibitors from Natural Extracts.

    PubMed

    Aguda, Adeleke H; Lavallee, Vincent; Cheng, Ping; Bott, Tina M; Meimetis, Labros G; Law, Simon; Nguyen, Nham T; Williams, David E; Kaleta, Jadwiga; Villanueva, Ivan; Davies, Julian; Andersen, Raymond J; Brayer, Gary D; Brömme, Dieter

    2016-08-26

    Natural products are an important source of novel drug scaffolds. The highly variable and unpredictable timelines associated with isolating novel compounds and elucidating their structures have led to the demise of exploring natural product extract libraries in drug discovery programs. Here we introduce affinity crystallography as a new methodology that significantly shortens the time of the hit to active structure cycle in bioactive natural product discovery research. This affinity crystallography approach is illustrated by using semipure fractions of an actinomycetes culture extract to isolate and identify a cathepsin K inhibitor and to compare the outcome with the traditional assay-guided purification/structural analysis approach. The traditional approach resulted in the identification of the known inhibitor antipain (1) and its new but lower potency dehydration product 2, while the affinity crystallography approach led to the identification of a new high-affinity inhibitor named lichostatinal (3). The structure and potency of lichostatinal (3) was verified by total synthesis and kinetic characterization. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of isolating and characterizing a potent enzyme inhibitor from a partially purified crude natural product extract using a protein crystallographic approach. PMID:27498895

  13. Access to "Jiggasha program: a family planning communication approach" and its exposure to the selected background characteristics.

    PubMed

    Hossain, M W; Khan, H T; Begum, A

    1999-06-01

    This paper studies the effectiveness of "Jiggasha," an innovative communication approach for the promotion of family planning in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Data from the 1996 Jiggasha follow-up survey were used, which gathered information by interviewing a network sample of 1862 married women and a subsample of 608 men. The study used the sample constituted by women respondents and included data on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the respondents and their knowledge, attitude and practice relating to contraceptives. Findings showed that Jiggasha respondents have more access to radio than television. All respondents reported having a radio in their homes and they emphasized the importance of broadcasting more family planning messages via both electronic media. Only 16% of the women in the study setting were exposed to group meetings. Of the respondents reporting participation in group meetings, 38.25% joined in a Jiggasha meeting, 23.15% in a Grameen Bank group meeting, and 4.70% in a Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee group meeting. Logistic regression analysis indicated more access to Jiggashas among women over 30 years of age than among the younger age groups. Religion and education levels of respondents have significant impact on access to Jiggashas. Husbands' approval plays an important role among the Jiggasha respondents in using family planning method. This study provides important information for policy-makers to make family planning program a success. PMID:12179658

  14. Trace metal variability in coastal waters of San Jorge Bay, Antofagasta, Chile: An environmental evaluation and statistical approach to propose local background levels.

    PubMed

    Valdés, J; Román, D; Guiñez, M; Rivera, L; Ávila, J; Cortés, P; Castillo, A

    2015-11-15

    Between 2008 and 2011, twelve metals from 384 coastal waters samples from San Jorge Bay (Antofagasta, northern Chile) were collected and analyzed. The goal was to evaluate the quality of the bay's water bodies according to the current Chilean Quality Guideline and to establish background levels for these metals. The result suggests that the coastal waters of San Jorge Bay are of very good quality suitable for recreational activities involving human body contact. The natural background thresholds established for this bay were significantly lower than primary and secondary water quality guidelines. The distribution of Cu, Zn and Pb, along the bay's coastline provides evidence of the effects of industrial activity. Both situations suggest that the threshold indicated in the environmental guidelines of the Chilean legislation may be overestimated and do not represent pollution-free environments. PMID:26365501

  15. S-matrix decomposition, natural reaction channels, and the quantum transition state approach to reactive scattering.

    PubMed

    Manthe, Uwe; Ellerbrock, Roman

    2016-05-28

    A new approach for the quantum-state resolved analysis of polyatomic reactions is introduced. Based on the singular value decomposition of the S-matrix, energy-dependent natural reaction channels and natural reaction probabilities are defined. It is shown that the natural reaction probabilities are equal to the eigenvalues of the reaction probability operator [U. Manthe and W. H. Miller, J. Chem. Phys. 99, 3411 (1993)]. Consequently, the natural reaction channels can be interpreted as uniquely defined pathways through the transition state of the reaction. The analysis can efficiently be combined with reactive scattering calculations based on the propagation of thermal flux eigenstates. In contrast to a decomposition based straightforwardly on thermal flux eigenstates, it does not depend on the choice of the dividing surface separating reactants from products. The new approach is illustrated studying a prototypical example, the H + CH4 → H2 + CH3 reaction. The natural reaction probabilities and the contributions of the different vibrational states of the methyl product to the natural reaction channels are calculated and discussed. The relation between the thermal flux eigenstates and the natural reaction channels is studied in detail. PMID:27250291

  16. S-matrix decomposition, natural reaction channels, and the quantum transition state approach to reactive scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manthe, Uwe; Ellerbrock, Roman

    2016-05-01

    A new approach for the quantum-state resolved analysis of polyatomic reactions is introduced. Based on the singular value decomposition of the S-matrix, energy-dependent natural reaction channels and natural reaction probabilities are defined. It is shown that the natural reaction probabilities are equal to the eigenvalues of the reaction probability operator [U. Manthe and W. H. Miller, J. Chem. Phys. 99, 3411 (1993)]. Consequently, the natural reaction channels can be interpreted as uniquely defined pathways through the transition state of the reaction. The analysis can efficiently be combined with reactive scattering calculations based on the propagation of thermal flux eigenstates. In contrast to a decomposition based straightforwardly on thermal flux eigenstates, it does not depend on the choice of the dividing surface separating reactants from products. The new approach is illustrated studying a prototypical example, the H + CH4 → H2 + CH3 reaction. The natural reaction probabilities and the contributions of the different vibrational states of the methyl product to the natural reaction channels are calculated and discussed. The relation between the thermal flux eigenstates and the natural reaction channels is studied in detail.

  17. Natural Resource Assessment: An Approach to Science Based Planning in National Parks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahan, Carolyn G.; Vanderhorst, James P.; Young, John A.

    2009-06-01

    We conducted a natural resource assessment at two national parks, New River Gorge National River and Shenandoah National Park, to help meet the goals of the Natural Resource Challenge—a program to help strengthen natural resource management at national parks. We met this challenge by synthesizing and interpreting natural resource information for planning purposes and we identified information gaps and natural significance of resources. We identified a variety of natural resources at both parks as being globally and/or nationally significant, including large expanses of unfragmented, mixed-mesophytic forests that qualify for wilderness protection, rare plant communities, diverse assemblages of neotropical migratory birds and salamanders, and outstanding aquatic recreational resources. In addition, these parks function, in part, as ecological reserves for plants in and wildlife. With these significant natural resources in mind, we also developed a suite of natural resource management recommendations in light of increasing threats from within and outside park boundaries. We hope that our approach can provide a blueprint for natural resource conservation at publically owned lands.

  18. Natural resource assessment: an approach to science based planning in national parks.

    PubMed

    Mahan, Carolyn G; Vanderhorst, James P; Young, John A

    2009-06-01

    We conducted a natural resource assessment at two national parks, New River Gorge National River and Shenandoah National Park, to help meet the goals of the Natural Resource Challenge--a program to help strengthen natural resource management at national parks. We met this challenge by synthesizing and interpreting natural resource information for planning purposes and we identified information gaps and natural significance of resources. We identified a variety of natural resources at both parks as being globally and/or nationally significant, including large expanses of unfragmented, mixed-mesophytic forests that qualify for wilderness protection, rare plant communities, diverse assemblages of neotropical migratory birds and salamanders, and outstanding aquatic recreational resources. In addition, these parks function, in part, as ecological reserves for plants in and wildlife. With these significant natural resources in mind, we also developed a suite of natural resource management recommendations in light of increasing threats from within and outside park boundaries. We hope that our approach can provide a blueprint for natural resource conservation at publically owned lands. PMID:19365671

  19. Estimation of the radiological background and dose assessment in areas with naturally occurring uranium geochemical anomalies--a case study in the Iberian Massif (Central Portugal).

    PubMed

    Pereira, A J S C; Neves, L J P F

    2012-10-01

    Naturally occurring uranium geochemical anomalies, representative of the several thousand recognized in the Portuguese section of the Iberian Massif and outcropping in three target areas with a total of a few thousand square metres, were subjected to a detailed study (1:1000 scale) to evaluate the radiological health-risk on the basis of a dose assessment. To reach this goal some radioactive isotopes from the uranium, thorium and potassium radioactive series were measured in 52 samples taken from different environmental compartments: soils, stream sediments, water, foodstuff (vegetables) and air; external radiation was also measured through a square grid of 10×10 m, with a total of 336 measurements. The results show that some radioisotopes have high activities in all the environmental compartments as well as a large variability, namely for those of the uranium decay chain, which is a common situation in the regional geological setting. Isotopic disequilibrium is also common and led to an enrichment of several isotopes in the different pathways, as is the case of (226)Ra; maximum values of 1.76 Bq L(-1) (water), 986 Bq kg(-1) (soils) and 18.9 Bq kg(-1) (in a turnip sample) were measured. On the basis of a realistic scenario combined with the experimental data, the effective dose from exposure to ionizing radiation for two groups of the population (rural and urban) was calculated; the effective dose is variable between 8.0 and 9.5 mSv year(-1), which is 3-4 times higher than the world average. Thus, the radiological health-risk for these populations could be significant and the studied uranium anomalies must be taken into account in the assessment of the geochemical background. The estimated effective dose can also be used as typical of the background of the Beiras uranium metalogenetic province and therefore as a "benchmark" in the remediation of the old uranium mining sites. PMID:22694913

  20. The Nature of Elementary Student Science Discourse in the Context of the Science Writing Heuristic Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cavagnetto, Andy; Hand, Brian M.; Norton-Meier, Lori

    2010-01-01

    This case study aimed to determine the nature of student interactions in small groups in an elementary classroom utilizing the Science Writing Heuristic approach. Fifth grade students were audio-recorded over four units of study while working in small groups to generate knowledge claims after conducting student-directed investigations. Analysis…

  1. Understanding Nature-Related Behaviors among Children through a Theory of Reasoned Action Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gotch, Chad; Hall, Troy

    2004-01-01

    The Theory of Reasoned Action has proven to be a valuable tool for predicting and understanding behavior and, as such, provides a potentially important basis for environmental education program design. This study used a Theory of Reasoned Action approach to examine a unique type of behavior (nature-related activities) and a unique population…

  2. A biosynthesis-inspired approach to over twenty diverse natural product-like scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Firth, James D; Craven, Philip G E; Lilburn, Matthew; Pahl, Axel; Marsden, Stephen P; Nelson, Adam

    2016-07-28

    A synthetic approach to diverse scaffolds was developed that was inspired by diterpene biosynthesis. Initial scaffolds, generated using Diels-Alder reactions of furyl-functionalised amines, were transformed into alternative scaffolds using cleavage, ring expansion, annulation and rearrangement reactions. In total, 25 diverse scaffolds were prepared that were shown to have high natural product-likeness. PMID:27424656

  3. How to value protection from natural hazards - a step-by-step discrete choice approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olschewski, R.

    2013-04-01

    In mountainous regions, forests play a crucial role in protecting the local population from natural hazards. In cases where existing forests are destroyed, e.g. by wind throws or diseases, the protection function has to be restored through technical measures. To determine the willingness to pay (WTP) for protection against avalanches, a choice experiment has been conducted and different experiment specifications have been tested to determine possible impacts on the results. The present study contributes to a comprehensive assessment of protection measures, and helps to identify efficient solutions based on the judgement of the people potentially endangered by natural hazards. The stepwise approach has the advantage to gradually check data fit, thereby didactically showing an operational way of dealing with different model specifications. The detailed case study can serve as a manual for conducting choice experiments with a similar focus and demonstrates the suitability and caveats of this approach to value protection from natural hazards in general.

  4. Energy Literacy: A Natural and Essential Part of a Solutions-Based Approach to Climate Literacy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inman, M. M.

    2011-12-01

    As with climate science topics, many Americans have misconceptions or gaps in understanding related to energy topics. Recent literacy efforts are geared to address these gaps in understanding. The U.S. Global Change Research Program's recently published "Energy Literacy: Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for Energy Education" offers a welcome complement to the Climate Literacy Essential Principles released in 2008. Research and experience suggest that education, communication and outreach about global climate change and related topics is best done using a solutions-based approach. Energy is a natural and effective topic to frame these solutions around. Used as a framework for designing curricula, Energy Literacy naturally leads to solutions-based approaches to Climate Change education. An inherently interdisciplinary topic, energy education must happen in the context of both the natural and social sciences. The Energy Literacy Essential Principles reflect this and open the door to curriculum that integrates the two.

  5. A Time-Critical Adaptive Approach for Visualizing Natural Scenes on Different Devices

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Tianyang; Liu, Siyuan; Xia, Jiajia; Fan, Jing; Zhang, Ling

    2015-01-01

    To automatically adapt to various hardware and software environments on different devices, this paper presents a time-critical adaptive approach for visualizing natural scenes. In this method, a simplified expression of a tree model is used for different devices. The best rendering scheme is intelligently selected to generate a particular scene by estimating the rendering time of trees based on their visual importance. Therefore, this approach can ensure the reality of natural scenes while maintaining a constant frame rate for their interactive display. To verify its effectiveness and flexibility, this method is applied in different devices, such as a desktop computer, laptop, iPad and smart phone. Applications show that the method proposed in this paper can not only adapt to devices with different computing abilities and system resources very well but can also achieve rather good visual realism and a constant frame rate for natural scenes. PMID:25723177

  6. Environmental geochemistry of shale-hosted Ag-Pb-Zn massive sulfide deposits in northwest Alaska: Natural background concentrations of metals in water from mineralized areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kelley, K.D.; Taylor, C.D.

    1997-01-01

    Red Dog, Lik and Drenchwater are shale-hosted stratiform Ag-Pb-Zn massive sulfide deposits in the northwestern Brooks Range. Natural background concentrations of metals in waters from the undisturbed (unmined) Drenchwater prospect and Lik deposit were compared to pre-mining baseline studies conducted at Red Dog. The primary factors affecting water chemistry are the extent of exposure of the deposits, the grade of mineralization, the presence of carbonate reeks in the section, and the proportion of Fe-sulfide in the ore. Surface water samples from the Drenchwater prospect, which has pyrite-dominant mineralization exposed in outcrop, have pH values as low as 2.8 and high dissolved concentrations of metals including as much as 95 mg 1-1 Al, 270 mg 1-1 Fe, 8 ??1-1 Cd, 10 ??1-1 Pb, and 2600 ??1-1 Zn, with As up to 26 ??g1-1. Surface waters from the Red Dog deposit prior to mining were also acidic and metal-rich, however, dissolved metal concentrations in Red Dog waters were many times greater. The higher metal concentrations in Red Dog waters reflect the high Zn grades and the abundant sphalerite, pyrite, and galena that were present in outcrop prior to mining. In contrast, despite significant mineralization at the Lik deposit, carbonate rocks in the section buffer the system, resulting in less acidic, mostly near-neutral pH values with low concentrations of most metals except Zn.

  7. Development and application of an ecosystem management approach for protected natural areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lajeunesse, Denyse; Domon, Gérald; Drapeau, Pierre; Cogliastro, Alain; Bouchard, André

    1995-07-01

    Preservation of small natural areas is not in itself a sufficient measure to maintain the integrity of the ecosystems for which they were initially set aside. Intense pressure from recreational use is just one of the many human-caused stresses that may degrade natural areas. Therefore, land-use planning and management from an ecological perspective is necessary to assess, ensure, and in some cases increase, the ecological integrity of protected natural areas. An ecosystem management approach for small protected natural areas with high recreational use is presented, based on three interrelated components: an ecological evaluation procedure of ecosystems, the implementation of management interventions on ecosystems, and the development of a monitoring scheme of ecosystem components. The ecological evaluation procedure combines two concepts: the biotic value of vegetation and wildlife and the abiotic fragility of the soils. This combined evaluation process results in the creation of a sensitivity map that can be used as a management tool for planners and managers. Management interventions, the second component of the management approach, are derived from concepts of ecological succession. Intentional human interventions are used to maintain the ecological integrity of ecosystems or in some cases to restore degraded sites. For the third component, only the basic principles of the monitoring program will be discussed. A pilot project in one of the Montreal urban community protected areas is presented to illustrate aspects of the proposed ecosystem management approach.

  8. Target identification of natural and traditional medicines with quantitative chemical proteomics approaches.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jigang; Gao, Liqian; Lee, Yew Mun; Kalesh, Karunakaran A; Ong, Yong Siang; Lim, Jaehong; Jee, Joo-Eun; Sun, Hongyan; Lee, Su Seong; Hua, Zi-Chun; Lin, Qingsong

    2016-06-01

    Natural and traditional medicines, being a great source of drugs and drug leads, have regained wide interests due to the limited success of high-throughput screening of compound libraries in the past few decades and the recent technology advancement. Many drugs/bioactive compounds exert their functions through interaction with their protein targets, with more and more drugs showing their ability to target multiple proteins, thus target identification has an important role in drug discovery and biomedical research fields. Identifying drug targets not only furthers the understanding of the mechanism of action (MOA) of a drug but also reveals its potential therapeutic applications and adverse side effects. Chemical proteomics makes use of affinity chromatography approaches coupled with mass spectrometry to systematically identify small molecule-protein interactions. Although traditional affinity-based chemical proteomics approaches have made great progress in the identification of cellular targets and elucidation of MOAs of many bioactive molecules, nonspecific binding remains a major issue which may reduce the accuracy of target identification and may hamper the drug development process. Recently, quantitative proteomics approaches, namely, metabolic labeling, chemical labeling, or label-free approaches, have been implemented in target identification to overcome such limitations. In this review, we will summarize and discuss the recent advances in the application of various quantitative chemical proteomics approaches for the identification of targets of natural and traditional medicines. PMID:26808165

  9. A Modeling Approach for Burn Scar Assessment Using Natural Features and Elastic Property

    SciTech Connect

    Tsap, L V; Zhang, Y; Goldgof, D B; Sarkar, S

    2004-04-02

    A modeling approach is presented for quantitative burn scar assessment. Emphases are given to: (1) constructing a finite element model from natural image features with an adaptive mesh, and (2) quantifying the Young's modulus of scars using the finite element model and the regularization method. A set of natural point features is extracted from the images of burn patients. A Delaunay triangle mesh is then generated that adapts to the point features. A 3D finite element model is built on top of the mesh with the aid of range images providing the depth information. The Young's modulus of scars is quantified with a simplified regularization functional, assuming that the knowledge of scar's geometry is available. The consistency between the Relative Elasticity Index and the physician's rating based on the Vancouver Scale (a relative scale used to rate burn scars) indicates that the proposed modeling approach has high potentials for image-based quantitative burn scar assessment.

  10. Omics and Environmental Science Genomic Approaches With Natural Fish Populations From Polluted Environments

    PubMed Central

    Bozinovic, Goran; Oleksiak, Marjorie F.

    2010-01-01

    Transcriptomics and population genomics are two complementary genomic approaches that can be used to gain insight into pollutant effects in natural populations. Transcriptomics identify altered gene expression pathways while population genomics approaches more directly target the causative genomic polymorphisms. Neither approach is restricted to a pre-determined set of genes or loci. Instead, both approaches allow a broad overview of genomic processes. Transcriptomics and population genomic approaches have been used to explore genomic responses in populations of fish from polluted environments and have identified sets of candidate genes and loci that appear biologically important in response to pollution. Often differences in gene expression or loci between polluted and reference populations are not conserved among polluted populations suggesting a biological complexity that we do not yet fully understand. As genomic approaches become less expensive with the advent of new sequencing and genotyping technologies, they will be more widely used in complimentary studies. However, while these genomic approaches are immensely powerful for identifying candidate gene and loci, the challenge of determining biological mechanisms that link genotypes and phenotypes remains. PMID:21072843

  11. Rapid, Long-term Monitoring of CO2 Concentration and δ13CO2 at CCUS Sites Allows Discrimination of Leakage Patterns from Natural Background Values

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galfond, B.; Riemer, D. D.; Swart, P. K.

    2014-12-01

    In order for Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) to gain wide acceptance as a method for mitigating atmospheric CO2 concentrations, schemes must be devised to ensure that potential leakage is detected. New regulations from the US Environmental Protection Agency require monitoring and accounting for Class VI injection wells, which will remain a barrier to wide scale CCUS deployment until effective and efficient monitoring techniques have been developed and proven. Monitoring near-surface CO2 at injection sites to ensure safety and operational success requires high temporal resolution CO2 concentration and carbon isotopic (δ13C) measurements. The only technologies currently capable of this rapid measurement of δ13C are optical techniques such as Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy (CRDS). We have developed a comprehensive remote monitoring approach using CRDS and a custom manifold system to obtain accurate rapid measurements from a large sample area over an extended study period. Our modified Picarro G1101-i CRDS allows for automated rapid and continuous field measurement of δ13CO2 and concentrations of relevant gas species. At our field site, where preparations have been underway for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) operations, we have been able to measure biogenic effects on a diurnal scale, as well as variation due to precipitation and seasonality. Taking these background trends into account, our statistical treatment of real data has been used to improve signal-to-noise ratios by an order of magnitude over published models. Our system has proven field readiness for the monitoring of sites with even modest CO2 fluxes.

  12. Characterization and Monitoring of Natural Attenuation of Chlorinated Solvents in Ground Water: A Systems Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutshall, N. H.; Gilmore, T.; Looney, B. B.; Vangelas, K. M.; Adams, K. M.; Sink, C. H.

    2006-05-01

    Like many US industries and businesses, the Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for remediation and restoration of soils and ground water contaminated with chlorinated ethenes. Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) is an attractive remediation approach and is probably the universal end-stage technology for removing such contamination. Since 2003 we have carried out a multifaceted program at the Savannah River Site designed to advance the state of the art for MNA of chlorinated ethenes in soils and groundwater. Three lines of effort were originally planned: 1) Improving the fundamental science for MNA, 2) Promoting better characterization and monitoring (CM) techniques, and 3) Advancing the regulatory aspects of MNA management. A fourth line, developing enhanced attenuation methods based on sustainable natural processes, was added in order to deal with sites where the initial natural attenuation capacity cannot offset contaminant loading rates. These four lines have been pursued in an integrated and mutually supportive fashion. Many DOE site-cleanup program managers view CM as major expenses, especially for natural attenuation where measuring attenuation is complex and the most critical attenuation mechanisms cannot be determined directly. We have reviewed new and developing approaches to CM for potential application in support of natural attenuation of chlorinated hydrocarbons in ground water at DOE sites (Gilmore, Tyler, et al., 2006 WSRC-TR- 2005-00199). Although our project is focused on chlorinated ethenes, many of the concepts and strategies are also applicable to a wider range of contaminants including radionuclides and metals. The greatest savings in CM are likely to come from new management approaches. New approaches can be based, for example, on conceptual models of attenuation capacity, the ability of a formation to reduce risks caused by contaminants. Using the mass balance concept as a guide, the integrated mass flux of contaminant is compared to

  13. An approach for detecting changes related to natural disasters using Synthetic Aperture Radar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milisavljevic, N.; Closson, D.; Holecz, F.; Collivignarelli, F.; Pasquali, P.

    2015-04-01

    Land-cover changes occur naturally in a progressive and gradual way, but they may happen rapidly and abruptly sometimes. Very high resolution remote sensed data acquired at different time intervals can help in analyzing the rate of changes and the causal factors. In this paper, we present an approach for detecting changes related to disasters such as an earthquake and for mapping of the impact zones. The approach is based on the pieces of information coming from SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and on their combination. The case study is the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The identification of damaged or destroyed buildings using SAR data is a challenging task. The approach proposed here consists in finding amplitude changes as well as coherence changes before and after the earthquake and then combining these changes in order to obtain richer and more robust information on the origin of various types of changes possibly induced by an earthquake. This approach does not need any specific knowledge source about the terrain, but if such sources are present, they can be easily integrated in the method as more specific descriptions of the possible classes. A special task in our approach is to develop a scheme that translates the obtained combinations of changes into ground information. Several algorithms are developed and validated using optical remote sensing images of the city two days after the earthquake, as well as our own ground-truth data. The obtained validation results show that the proposed approach is promising.

  14. Learning from nature – novel synthetic biology approaches for biomaterial design

    PubMed Central

    Bryksin, Anton V.; Brown, Ashley C.; Baksh, Michael M.; Finn, M.G.; Barker, Thomas H.

    2014-01-01

    Many biomaterials constructed today are complex chemical structures that incorporate biologically active components derived from nature, but the field can still be said to be in its infancy. The need for materials that bring sophisticated properties of structure, dynamics, and function to medical and non-medical applications will only grow. Increasing appreciation of the functionality of biological systems has caused biomaterials researchers to consider nature for design inspiration, and many examples exist of the use of biomolecular motifs. Yet, evolution, nature's only engine for the creation of new designs, has been largely ignored by the biomaterials community. Molecular evolution is an emerging tool that enables one to apply nature's engineering principles to non-natural situations using variation and selection. The purpose of this review is to highlight the most recent advances in the use of molecular evolution in synthetic biology applications for biomaterial engineering, and to discuss some of the areas in which this approach may be successfully applied in the future. PMID:24463066

  15. "Whoever Does Not Write Is Written": The Role of "Nature" in Post-Post Approaches to Environmental Education Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russell, Constance L.

    2005-01-01

    While McKenzie mentions in passing her concern about anthropocentrism and human oppression of the natural world, she is mostly silent about the role of "nature" in post-post approaches to environmental education research. If one takes feminist poststructuralist ideas about voice and representation seriously, surely the place of "nature" in…

  16. Drug scheduling of cancer chemotherapy based on natural actor-critic approach.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Inkyung; Park, Jooyoung

    2011-11-01

    Recently, reinforcement learning methods have drawn significant interests in the area of artificial intelligence, and have been successfully applied to various decision-making problems. In this paper, we study the applicability of the NAC (natural actor-critic) approach, a state-of-the-art reinforcement learning method, to the drug scheduling of cancer chemotherapy for an ODE (ordinary differential equation)-based tumor growth model. ODE-based cancer dynamics modeling is an active research area, and many different mathematical models have been proposed. Among these, we use the model proposed by de Pillis and Radunskaya (2003), which considers the growth of tumor cells and their interaction with normal cells and immune cells. The NAC approach is applied to this ODE model with the goal of minimizing the tumor cell population and the drug amount while maintaining the adequate population levels of normal cells and immune cells. In the framework of the NAC approach, the drug dose is regarded as the control input, and the reward signal is defined as a function of the control input and the cell populations of tumor cells, normal cells, and immune cells. According to the control policy found by the NAC approach, effective drug scheduling in cancer chemotherapy for the considered scenarios has turned out to be close to the strategy of continuing drug injection from the beginning until an appropriate time. Also, simulation results showed that the NAC approach can yield better performance than conventional pulsed chemotherapy. PMID:21839140

  17. Development of Antiatherosclerotic Drugs on the basis of Natural Products Using Cell Model Approach

    PubMed Central

    Orekhov, Alexander N.; Sobenin, Igor A.; Revin, Victor V.; Bobryshev, Yuri V.

    2015-01-01

    Atherosclerosis including its subclinical form is one of the key medical and social problems. At present, there is no therapy available for widespread use against subclinical atherosclerosis. The use of synthetic drugs for the prevention of arteriosclerosis in its early stages is not sufficient because of the limited indications for severe side effects and high cost of treatment. Obviously, effective antiatherosclerotic drugs based on natural products would be a preferred alternative. Simple cell-based models for testing different natural products have been developed and the ability of natural products to prevent intracellular lipid accumulation in primary cell culture was evaluated. This approach utilizing cell models allowed to test effects of such direct antiatherosclerotic therapy, analyzing the effects mimicking those which can occur “at the level” of arterial wall via the inhibition of intracellular lipid deposition. The data from the carried out clinical trials support a point of view that the identification of antiatherosclerotic activity of natural products might offer a great opportunity for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic disease, reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. PMID:26347804

  18. An Amphibious Being: How Maritime Surveying Reshaped Darwin's Approach to Natural History.

    PubMed

    Sponsel, Alistair

    2016-06-01

    This essay argues that Charles Darwin's distinctive approach to studying distribution and diversity was shaped by his face-to-face interactions with maritime surveyors during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-1836). Introducing their hydrographic surveying methods into natural history enabled him to compare fossil and living marine organisms, to compare sedimentary rocks to present-day marine sediments, and to compare landscapes to submarine topology, thereby realizing Charles Lyell's fanciful ambition for a superior form of geology that might be practiced by an "amphibious being." Darwin's theories of continental uplift, coral reef formation, and the origin of species all depended on his amphibious natural history. This essay contributes to our understanding of theorizing in nineteenth-century natural history by illustrating that specific techniques of observing and collecting could themselves help to generate a particular theoretical orientation and, indeed, that such practical experiences were a more proximate source of Darwin's "Humboldtian" interest in distribution and diversity than Alexander von Humboldt's writings themselves. Darwin's debt to the hydrographers became obscured in two ways: through the "funneling" of credit produced by single-authorship publication in natural history and the "telescoping" of memory by which Darwin's new theories made him recall his former researches as though he had originally undertaken them for the very purpose of producing the later theory. PMID:27439285

  19. Elucidating the Nature of Carbazole-Porphyrinoids with First-Principle Approaches.

    PubMed

    Azarias, Cloé; Jacquemin, Denis

    2016-05-12

    Carbazole-porphyrinoids are [20]porphyrins that can be oxidized to the so-called porphyrin state, inducing a huge shift of the main absorption band from the UV-visible to the infrared region. In this study, we focus on the compound synthesized by Arnold and co-workers [ Arnold , L. ; Baumgarten , M. ; Müllen , K. A. Chem. Commun. , 2012 , 48 , 9640 - 9642 ], where the two pyrroline units of a porphyrin are replaced with carbazole moieties. Due to the poor stability of these macrocycles, the nature of the oxidation product could not be definitively ascertained experimentally. In that framework, with the help of ab initio approaches, we investigate the structure, the stability, the aromaticity, and the spectroscopic signatures of both the nonoxidized compound and a series of possible oxidation products. Thanks to vibronic simulations, we obtain insights into the nature of the oxidized macrocycle. PMID:27076284

  20. Enzymatic approach in microbial-influenced corrosion: a review based on stainless steels in natural waters.

    PubMed

    Landoulsi, J; El Kirat, K; Richard, C; Féron, D; Pulvin, S

    2008-04-01

    The electrochemical behavior of stainless steels (SS) in natural waters is characterized by the ennoblement of their free corrosion potential (E(corr)). This phenomenon depends strongly on the settlement of biofilms on SS surfaces. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the biofilm action, in particular the enzymatic catalysis plays an important role by shifting the cathodic and/or anodic processes. However, there are still only few studies relating the use of purified enzymes. In contrast with bacteria-associated corrosion, the direct influence of enzymes is still poorly documented. The aim of this review is to show the benefits of the enzymatic approach in the study of biocorrosion. Indeed, enzymatic systems may constitute convenient models to mimic microbial influenced corrosion and to evaluate the behavior of metallic materials in natural waters. PMID:18504948

  1. Ultrasensitive Negative Feedback Control: A Natural Approach for the Design of Synthetic Controllers.

    PubMed

    Montefusco, Francesco; Akman, Ozgur E; Soyer, Orkun S; Bates, Declan G

    2016-01-01

    Many of the most important potential applications of Synthetic Biology will require the ability to design and implement high performance feedback control systems that can accurately regulate the dynamics of multiple molecular species within the cell. Here, we argue that the use of design strategies based on combining ultrasensitive response dynamics with negative feedback represents a natural approach to this problem that fully exploits the strongly nonlinear nature of cellular information processing. We propose that such feedback mechanisms can explain the adaptive responses observed in one of the most widely studied biomolecular feedback systems-the yeast osmoregulatory response network. Based on our analysis of such system, we identify strong links with a well-known branch of mathematical systems theory from the field of Control Engineering, known as Sliding Mode Control. These insights allow us to develop design guidelines that can inform the construction of feedback controllers for synthetic biological systems. PMID:27537373

  2. Task 23 - background report on subsurface environmental issues relating to natural gas sweetening and dehydration operations. Topical report, February 1, 1994--February 28, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Sorensen, J.A.

    1998-12-31

    This report describes information pertaining to environmental issues, toxicity, environmental transport, and fate of alkanolamines and glycols associated with natural gas sweetening and dehydration operations. Waste management associated with the operations is also discussed.

  3. Temporal naturalism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smolin, Lee

    2015-11-01

    Two people may claim both to be naturalists, but have divergent conceptions of basic elements of the natural world which lead them to mean different things when they talk about laws of nature, or states, or the role of mathematics in physics. These disagreements do not much affect the ordinary practice of science which is about small subsystems of the universe, described or explained against a background, idealized to be fixed. But these issues become crucial when we consider including the whole universe within our system, for then there is no fixed background to reference observables to. I argue here that the key issue responsible for divergent versions of naturalism and divergent approaches to cosmology is the conception of time. One version, which I call temporal naturalism, holds that time, in the sense of the succession of present moments, is real, and that laws of nature evolve in that time. This is contrasted with timeless naturalism, which holds that laws are immutable and the present moment and its passage are illusions. I argue that temporal naturalism is empirically more adequate than the alternatives, because it offers testable explanations for puzzles its rivals cannot address, and is likely a better basis for solving major puzzles that presently face cosmology and physics. This essay also addresses the problem of qualia and experience within naturalism and argues that only temporal naturalism can make a place for qualia as intrinsic qualities of matter.

  4. A multi-disciplinary team approach to managing natural resource damages liability

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, T.A.

    1995-12-31

    In 1989, the Exxon-Valdez oil spill and its impacts to Prince William Sound aroused the nation`s concern about the natural resources. As a result, federal and state trustees have dramatically increased the attention and effort given natural resource damages (NRD) both from an ecological and liability perspective. NRD liability is a mixed bag of problems. Successful management of that liability requires consideration of scientific (i.e., biological, toxicological, etc.) economic, engineering, legal and policy issues. A logical solution to NRD liability ultimately requires an interactive multi-disciplinary team approach that factors in the perspective of each relevant disciplines. If any one of these disciplines is excluded, the solution is vulnerable to failure. For example, an attorney is taught to reach solutions based on legal considerations and concerns. An attorney does not think like an economist, biologists or engineer and, therefore, without input from all relevant disciplines the attorney will likely reach a valid legal conclusion which adequately addresses only one aspect of the NRD liability quagmire. Further, a PRP must be cognizant that NRD trustees, both federal and state, are with few exceptions considering the PRP`s NRD liability using all relevant disciplines. Therefore, environmental liability managers must use a multi-disciplinary team approach in order to ensure a logical, defendable mixed solution to a mixed bag of problems.

  5. Human-Nature Interaction in the Eastern Pamirs of Tajikistan - Ecosystem services against the background of pasture use and energy consumption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanselow, K. A.; Samimi, C.; Kraudzun, T.; Kreutzmann, H.

    2012-04-01

    Mountains play an important role in the world's sustainable development. Despite the acquired knowledge about their importance the Global Environment Outlook 3 (UNEP 2002) states that most "mountain commons are ecologically under-managed and suffer from the classic 'commons syndrome': while all seek to benefit, stakeholders lack coordination, incentives and instruments for joint care." For the Eastern Pamirs, a dry (< 100 mm/a) and high (3,500-5,500 m asl) mountain plateau in the east of Tajikistan, grazing and fuel-wood are identified as key ecosystem services. Extensive pastoralism is a prime adapted land use strategy. Therefore, the Soviet administration allocated the production of meat on collective and state farms as the region's main task. Elaborate management plans, usually with four seasonal pasture camps, and additional imports of fuel and forage, led to a well-balanced utilization of all pastures. The dissolution of the USSR resulted in significant structural changes in the region. Most notably, the end of the subsidy system stopped the provisioning from outside. Without external inputs bridging long distances between the seasonal pastures poses a major problem to most smallholders. Furthermore, the limited supply and high cost of imported fossil fuels induced the increased use of dwarf shrubs as an energy resource. However, they are also important forage plants, particularly in winter. This study aims to provide a well-founded overview of the pasture and fuel-wood resources and the spatiotemporal variability of the actual pasture use with associated livestock numbers to make assertions on overuse in particular areas. Therefore, an interdisciplinary approach was used, combining geoecological and socio-economic methods. To assess the pasture potential information about land cover, phytomass availability, and forage quality were collected. Vegetation classes were modeled with a Random Forest (Breiman 2001), based on land cover information of 262 test plots

  6. Rational biosynthetic approaches for the production of new-to-nature compounds in fungi.

    PubMed

    Boecker, Simon; Zobel, Sophia; Meyer, Vera; Süssmuth, Roderich D

    2016-04-01

    Filamentous fungi have the ability to produce a wide range of secondary metabolites some of which are potent toxins whereas others are exploited as food additives or drugs. Fungal natural products still play an important role in the discovery of new chemical entities for potential use as pharmaceuticals. However, in most cases they cannot be directly used as drugs due to toxic side effects or suboptimal pharmacokinetics. To improve drug-like properties, including bioactivity and stability or to produce better precursors for semi-synthetic routes, one needs to generate non-natural derivatives from known fungal secondary metabolites. In this minireview, we describe past and recent biosynthetic approaches for the diversification of fungal natural products, covering examples from precursor-directed biosynthesis, mutasynthesis, metabolic engineering and biocombinatorial synthesis. To illustrate the current state-of-the-art, challenges and pitfalls, we lay particular emphasis on the class of fungal cyclodepsipeptides which have been studied longtime for product diversification and which are of pharmaceutical relevance as drugs. PMID:26872866

  7. How to Use Historical Approach to Teach Nature of Science in Chemistry Education?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolvanen, Simo; Jansson, Jan; Vesterinen, Veli-Matti; Aksela, Maija

    2014-08-01

    Successful implementation of historical approach to teach nature of science (NOS) requires suitable curriculum material. Several research and development projects have produced lesson plans for science teachers. 25 lesson plans from four different projects involved in creating curriculum material utilizing historical approach in chemistry education were analyzed to describe NOS content included as well as the historical experiments and narratives used. Based on the results of descriptive content analysis of existing curriculum materials, several suggestions on the successful design of lesson plans utilizing historical approach are made. To increase the coherence and clarity of learning objectives and instruction, each lesson plan should focus on the limited amount of specific NOS issues instead of several overtly general NOS aspects. To support explicit classroom discussion on the selected NOS issues, historical narratives used in the lesson plans should illustrate these issues. The lesson plans should also include instructions on how to facilitate classroom discussion, such as questions for students to discuss and reflect. Recommendations are also made concerning the appropriate use of historical experiments and narrative elements such as viewpoint characters and conflicts.

  8. "It sounds like...": A natural language processing approach to detecting counselor reflections in motivational interviewing.

    PubMed

    Can, Doğan; Marín, Rebeca A; Georgiou, Panayiotis G; Imel, Zac E; Atkins, David C; Narayanan, Shrikanth S

    2016-04-01

    The dissemination and evaluation of evidence-based behavioral treatments for substance abuse problems rely on the evaluation of counselor interventions. In Motivational Interviewing (MI), a treatment that directs the therapist to utilize a particular linguistic style, proficiency is assessed via behavioral coding-a time consuming, nontechnological approach. Natural language processing techniques have the potential to scale up the evaluation of behavioral treatments such as MI. We present a novel computational approach to assessing components of MI, focusing on 1 specific counselor behavior-reflections, which are believed to be a critical MI ingredient. Using 57 sessions from 3 MI clinical trials, we automatically detected counselor reflections in a maximum entropy Markov modeling framework using the raw linguistic data derived from session transcripts. We achieved 93% recall, 90% specificity, and 73% precision. Results provide insight into the linguistic information used by coders to make ratings and demonstrate the feasibility of new computational approaches to scaling up the evaluation of behavioral treatments. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26784286

  9. Human Amplified Natural Change: An approach for vulnerability assessment and mitigation planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcock, P.; Belmont, P.; Gran, K. B.

    2011-12-01

    Addressing the environmental impacts of agricultural development is made difficult by the scale and complexity of the natural system, the pervasive human alteration of that system, the contingent and nonlinear nature of system response, and the web of natural-human interactions driving social, economic, and regulatory decisions over periods of decades to centuries. One of the most difficult challenges is determining those locations within the landscape that are most sensitive to change. One approach is the concept of human-amplified natural change (HANC), a hypothesis that states that areas of the landscape that are most susceptible to human, climatic, and other external changes are those that are undergoing the highest rates of natural change. High variability in system response implies that there are locations and moments that are especially vulnerable to changes in climate and human actions. These 'critical areas' are not only essential to understand for mitigation purposes, but also serve as targeted locations in which to monitor change in an accelerated environment. Under the HANC hypothesis, it is these locations that should be the focus for both research and management. We explore the HANC hypothesis using the case of sediment delivery to the Upper Mississippi River. Work on Lake Pepin, a natural lake on the Mississippi River, has shown that sediment supply has increased ten-fold over the past 150 years. This period corresponds with widespread implementation of drainage and row cropping in the Minnesota River Basin, the primary contributor of sediment to the Upper Mississippi. Although this development is clearly important, the watershed was geologically primed to produce large amounts of sediment as it incises through soft glacial sediments in response to a base level fall associated with the carving of the Minnesota River valley over 13,000 years before present. The nearly complete transformation of the land surface, vegetation, and hydrology over the past

  10. A proteomics approach to decipher the molecular nature of planarian stem cells

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In recent years, planaria have emerged as an important model system for research into stem cells and regeneration. Attention is focused on their unique stem cells, the neoblasts, which can differentiate into any cell type present in the adult organism. Sequencing of the Schmidtea mediterranea genome and some expressed sequence tag projects have generated extensive data on the genetic profile of these cells. However, little information is available on their protein dynamics. Results We developed a proteomic strategy to identify neoblast-specific proteins. Here we describe the method and discuss the results in comparison to the genomic high-throughput analyses carried out in planaria and to proteomic studies using other stem cell systems. We also show functional data for some of the candidate genes selected in our proteomic approach. Conclusions We have developed an accurate and reliable mass-spectra-based proteomics approach to complement previous genomic studies and to further achieve a more accurate understanding and description of the molecular and cellular processes related to the neoblasts. PMID:21356107

  11. Multi-period natural gas market modeling Applications, stochastic extensions and solution approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egging, Rudolf Gerardus

    This dissertation develops deterministic and stochastic multi-period mixed complementarity problems (MCP) for the global natural gas market, as well as solution approaches for large-scale stochastic MCP. The deterministic model is unique in the combination of the level of detail of the actors in the natural gas markets and the transport options, the detailed regional and global coverage, the multi-period approach with endogenous capacity expansions for transportation and storage infrastructure, the seasonal variation in demand and the representation of market power according to Nash-Cournot theory. The model is applied to several scenarios for the natural gas market that cover the formation of a cartel by the members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, a low availability of unconventional gas in the United States, and cost reductions in long-distance gas transportation. 1 The results provide insights in how different regions are affected by various developments, in terms of production, consumption, traded volumes, prices and profits of market participants. The stochastic MCP is developed and applied to a global natural gas market problem with four scenarios for a time horizon until 2050 with nineteen regions and containing 78,768 variables. The scenarios vary in the possibility of a gas market cartel formation and varying depletion rates of gas reserves in the major gas importing regions. Outcomes for hedging decisions of market participants show some significant shifts in the timing and location of infrastructure investments, thereby affecting local market situations. A first application of Benders decomposition (BD) is presented to solve a large-scale stochastic MCP for the global gas market with many hundreds of first-stage capacity expansion variables and market players exerting various levels of market power. The largest problem solved successfully using BD contained 47,373 variables of which 763 first-stage variables, however using BD did not result in

  12. Risk Governance of Multiple Natural Hazards: Centralized versus Decentralized Approach in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komendantova, Nadejda; Scolobig, Anna; Vinchon, Charlotte

    2014-05-01

    The multi-risk approach is a relatively new field and its definition includes the need to consider multiple hazards and vulnerabilities in their interdependency (Selva, 2013) and the current multi-hazards disasters, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe, showed the need for a multi-risk approach in hazard mitigation and management. Our knowledge about multi-risk assessment, including studies from different scientific disciplines and developed assessment tools, is constantly growing (White et al., 2001). However, the link between scientific knowledge, its implementation and the results in terms of improved governance and decision-making have gained significantly less attention (IRGC, 2005; Kappes et al., 2012), even though the interest to risk governance, in general, has increased significantly during the last years (Verweiy and Thompson, 2006). Therefore, the key research question is how risk assessment is implemented and what is the potential for the implementation of a multi-risk approach in different governance systems across Europe. More precisely, how do the characteristics of risk governance, such as the degree of centralization versus decentralization, influence the implementation of a multi-risk approach. The methodology of this research includes comparative case study analysis of top-down and bottom-up interactions in governance in the city of Naples, (Italy), where the institutional landscape is marked by significant autonomy of Italian regions in decision-making processes for assessing the majority of natural risks, excluding volcanic, and in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, an overseas department of France, where the decision-making process is marked by greater centralization in decision making associated with a well established state governance within regions, delegated to the prefect and decentralised services of central ministries. The research design included documentary analysis and extensive empirical work involving

  13. Habituation under natural conditions: model predators are distinguished by approach direction.

    PubMed

    Raderschall, Chloé A; Magrath, Robert D; Hemmi, Jan M

    2011-12-15

    Habituation is an active process that allows animals to learn to identify repeated, harmless events, and so could help individuals deal with the trade-off between reducing the risk of predation and minimizing escape costs. Safe habituation requires an accurate distinction between dangerous and harmless events, but in natural environments such an assessment is challenging because sensory information is often noisy and limited. What, then, comprises the information animals use to recognize objects that they have previously learned to be harmless? We tested whether the fiddler crab Uca vomeris distinguishes objects purely by their sensory signature or whether identification also involves more complex attributes such as the direction from which an object approaches. We found that crabs habituated their escape responses after repeated presentations of a dummy predator consistently approaching from the same compass direction. Females habituated both movement towards the burrow and descent into the burrow, whereas males only habituated descent into the burrow. The crabs were more likely to respond again when a physically identical dummy approached them from a new compass direction. The crabs distinguished between the two dummies even though both dummies were visible for the entire duration of the experiment and there was no difference in the timing of the dummies' movements. Thus, the position or approach direction of a dummy encodes important information that allows animals to identify an event and habituate to it. These results argue against the traditional notion that habituation is a simple, non-associative learning process, and instead suggest that habituation is very selective and uses information to distinguish between objects that is not available from the sensory signature of the object itself. PMID:22116764

  14. Integrative approach to delineate natural attenuation of chlorinated benzenes in anoxic aquifers.

    PubMed

    Stelzer, Nicole; Imfeld, Gwenaël; Thullner, Martin; Lehmann, Jürgen; Poser, Alexander; Richnow, Hans-H; Nijenhuis, Ivonne

    2009-06-01

    Biodegradation of chlorobenzenes was assessed at an anoxic aquifer by combining hydrogeochemistry and stable isotope analyses. In situ microcosm analysis evidenced microbial assimilation of chlorobenzene (MCB) derived carbon and laboratory investigations asserted mineralization of MCB at low rates. Sequential dehalogenation of chlorinated benzenes may affect the isotope signature of single chlorobenzene species due to simultaneous depletion and enrichment of (13)C, which complicates the evaluation of degradation. Therefore, the compound-specific isotope analysis was interpreted based on an isotope balance. The enrichment of the cumulative isotope composition of all chlorobenzenes indicated in situ biodegradation. Additionally, the relationship between hydrogeochemistry and degradation activity was investigated by principal component analysis underlining variable hydrogeochemical conditions associated with degradation activity at the plume scale. Although the complexity of the field site did not allow straightforward assessment of natural attenuation processes, the application of an integrative approach appeared relevant to characterize the in situ biodegradation potential. PMID:19250727

  15. Evolutionary genetics in wild primates: combining genetic approaches with field studies of natural populations

    PubMed Central

    Tung, Jenny; Alberts, Susan C; Wray, Gregory A

    2010-01-01

    Ecological and evolutionary studies of wild primates hold important keys to understanding both the shared characteristics of primate biology and the genetic and phenotypic differences that make specific lineages, including our own, unique. Although complementary genetic research on nonhuman primates has long been of interest, recent technological and methodological advances now enable functional and population genetic studies in an unprecedented manner. In the past several years, novel genetic data sets have revealed new information about the demographic history of primate populations and the genetics of adaptively important traits. In combination with the rich history of behavioral, ecological, and physiological work on natural primate populations, genetic approaches promise to provide a compelling picture of primate evolution in the past and in the present day. PMID:20580115

  16. The Effect of Explicit-Reflective and Historical Approach on Preservice Elementary Teachers' Views of Nature of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pekbay, Canay; Yilmaz, Serkan

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to explore the influence of nature of science (NOS) activities based on explicit-reflective and historical approach on preservice elementary teachers' views of NOS aspects. Mixed-method approach including both qualitative and quantitative methods was used. The sample consisted of 83 preservice elementary teachers of a public…

  17. Turn on the super-elastic collision nature of coronal mass ejections through low approaching speed.

    PubMed

    Shen, Fang; Wang, Yuming; Shen, Chenglong; Feng, Xueshang

    2016-01-01

    It has been proved from the observations and numerical simulations that the collision between solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs), the largest plasmoids in the heliosphere, could be super-elastic. This finding suggests that the CMEs' magnetic energy and thermal energy could be converted into kinetic energy through a more efficient way. However CME collisions are not always super-elastic, which means that this distinct property of plasmoids is probably excited conditionally. As the first attempt, we carry out a series of three-dimensional numerical experiments, and establish a diagram showing the dependence of the collision nature on the CME speed and k-number, the ratio of the CME's kinetic energy to the CME's total energy. It is found that the super-elastic nature of CMEs appears at the relatively low approaching speed, and most of the previous case studies are in agreement with this diagram. Our study firmly advances the understanding of the super-elastic property of plasmoids, and does give us new clues to deeply understand why and how the magnetic energy and/or thermal energy of the colliding plasmoids can be converted into kinetic energy in such an efficient way. PMID:26791543

  18. Turn on the super-elastic collision nature of coronal mass ejections through low approaching speed

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Fang; Wang, Yuming; Shen, Chenglong; Feng, Xueshang

    2016-01-01

    It has been proved from the observations and numerical simulations that the collision between solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs), the largest plasmoids in the heliosphere, could be super-elastic. This finding suggests that the CMEs’ magnetic energy and thermal energy could be converted into kinetic energy through a more efficient way. However CME collisions are not always super-elastic, which means that this distinct property of plasmoids is probably excited conditionally. As the first attempt, we carry out a series of three-dimensional numerical experiments, and establish a diagram showing the dependence of the collision nature on the CME speed and k-number, the ratio of the CME’s kinetic energy to the CME’s total energy. It is found that the super-elastic nature of CMEs appears at the relatively low approaching speed, and most of the previous case studies are in agreement with this diagram. Our study firmly advances the understanding of the super-elastic property of plasmoids, and does give us new clues to deeply understand why and how the magnetic energy and/or thermal energy of the colliding plasmoids can be converted into kinetic energy in such an efficient way. PMID:26791543

  19. Natural Organic Matter Transport Modeling with a Continuous Time Random Walk Approach

    PubMed Central

    McInnis, Daniel P.; Bolster, Diogo; Maurice, Patricia A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In transport experiments through columns packed with naturally Fe/Al oxide-coated quartz sand, breakthrough curves (BTCs) of natural organic matter (NOM) displayed strong and persistent power law tailing that could not be described by the classical advection–dispersion equation. Tailing was not observed in BTCs for a nonreactive tracer (sulforhodamine B); therefore, the anomalous transport is attributed to diverse adsorptive behavior of the polydisperse NOM sample rather than to physical heterogeneity of the porous medium. NOM BTC tailing became more pronounced with decreases in pH and increases in ionic strength, conditions previously shown to be associated with enhanced preferential adsorption of intermediate to high molecular weight NOM components. Drawing from previous work on anomalous solute transport, we develop an approach to model NOM transport within the framework of a continuous time random walk (CTRW) and show that under all conditions examined, the CTRW model is able to capture tailing of NOM BTCs by accounting for differences in transport rates of NOM fractions through a distribution of effective retardation factors. These results demonstrate the importance of considering effects of adsorptive fractionation on NOM mobility, and illustrate the ability of the CTRW model to describe transport of a multicomponent solute. PMID:24596449

  20. Structure elucidation and DNA binding specificity of natural compounds from Cassia siamea leaves: A biophysical approach.

    PubMed

    Parveen, Mehtab; Ahmad, Faheem; Malla, Ali Mohammed; Khan, Mohd Sohrab; Rehman, Sayeed Ur; Tabish, Mohammad; Silva, Manuela Ramos; Silva, P S Pereira

    2016-06-01

    A novel isoflavone, 5,6,7-trimethoxy-3-(3',4',5'-trimethoxyphenyl)-4H-chromen-4-one (1) along with a known pyranocoumarin, Seselin (2) have been isolated from the ethanolic extract of the leaves of Cassia siamea (Family: Fabaceae). Compound 1 has been reported for the first time from any natural source and has not been synthesized so far. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of chemical and physical evidences viz. elemental analysis, UV, FT-IR, (1)H-NMR, (13)C-NMR and mass spectral analysis. Structure of compound (1) was further authenticated by single-crystal X-ray analysis and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. A multi-technique approach employing UV-Visible spectroscopy, fluorescence, KI quenching studies, competitive displacement assay, circular dichroism and viscosity studies have been utilized to probe the extent of interaction and possible binding modes of isolated compounds (1-2) with calf thymus DNA (CT-DNA). Both the compounds were found to interact with DNA via non-intercalative binding mode with moderate proficiencies. Groove binding was the major interaction mode in the case of compound 2 while compound 1 probably interacts with DNA through electrostatic interactions. These studies provide deeper insight in understanding of DNA-drug (natural products) interaction which could be helpful to improve their bioavailability for therapeutic purposes. PMID:27085054

  1. Overview of the Enhanced Natural Gestures Instructional Approach and Illustration of Its Use with Three Students with Angelman Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calculator, Stephen; Diaz-Caneja Sela, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    Background: This investigation details procedures used to teach enhanced natural gestures (ENGs) and illustrates its use with three students with Angelman syndrome (AS). Materials and Methods: Themes were extracted, using a process of content analysis, to organize individuals' feedback pertaining to previous versions of the instructional…

  2. Sensorimotor event: an approach to the dynamic, embodied, and embedded nature of sensorimotor cognition

    PubMed Central

    Vilarroya, Oscar

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, I explore the notion of sensorimotor event as the building block of sensorimotor cognition. A sensorimotor event is presented here as a neurally controlled event that recruits those processes and elements that are necessary to address the demands of the situation in which the individual is involved. The notion of sensorimotor event is intended to subsume the dynamic, embodied, and embedded nature of sensorimotor cognition, in agreement with the satisficing and bricoleur approach to sensorimotor cognition presented elsewhere (Vilarroya, 2012). In particular, the notion of sensorimotor event encompasses those relevant neural processes, but also those bodily and environmental elements, that are necessary to deal with the situation in which the individual is involved. This continuum of neural processes as well as bodily and environmental elements can be characterized, and this characterization is considered the basis for the identification of the particular sensorimotor event. Among other consequences, the notion of sensorimotor event suggests a different approach to the classical account of sensory-input mapping onto a motor output. Instead of characterizing how a neural system responds to an external input, the idea defended here is to characterize how system-in-an-environment responds to its antecedent situation. PMID:24427133

  3. CHARACTERIZATION AND MONITORING OF NATURAL ATTENUATION OF CHLORINATED SOLVENTS IN GROUNDWATER: A SYSTEMS APPROACH

    SciTech Connect

    Looney, B; Michael Heitkamp, M; Gary Wein , G; Christopher Bagwell, C; Karen Vangelas, K; Karen-M Adams, K; Tyler Gilmore; Norman Cutshall; David Major; Mike Truex; Todd Wiedemeier; Francis H. Chapelle; Tom Early; Jody Waugh; David Peterson; Mark Ankeny; Claire H. Sink

    2006-08-10

    The objective of this document is to examine the use of a phased approach to characterizing and monitoring (C&M) natural attenuation processes and enhanced attenuation processes and to identify promising tools and techniques by which to accomplish the C&M. We will investigate developing techniques, such as molecular-based assessment tools, and existing tools that traditionally have not been used for monitoring the performance of environmental remediation technologies. Case studies will be used to provide examples of how non-traditional methods are being employed as characterization and monitoring tools to support MNA and EA. The document is not focused on a specific group of readers but rather is broadly directed with the intent that readers may gain information useful to their purposes. Thus, regulators may see some future characterization and monitoring techniques; end users may find novel ways to make MNA or EA more effective or efficient at their site; researchers may identify new areas for development or new and better combinations of existing methods. One consequence of this broad approach is that some readers may find certain sections either too rudimentary or too advanced for their needs. Hopefully, all will be able to use at least some of the document.

  4. Resolving the chemical nature of nanodesigned silica surface obtained via a bottom-up approach.

    PubMed

    Rahma, Hakim; Buffeteau, Thierry; Belin, Colette; Le Bourdon, Gwenaëlle; Degueil, Marie; Bennetau, Bernard; Vellutini, Luc; Heuzé, Karine

    2013-08-14

    The covalent grafting on silica surfaces of a functional dendritic organosilane coupling agent inserted, in a long alkyl chain monolayer, is described. In this paper, we show that depending on experimental parameters, particularly the solvent, it is possible to obtain a nanodesigned surface via a bottom-up approach. Thus, we succeed in the formation of both homogeneous dense monolayer and a heterogeneous dense monolayer, the latter being characterized by a nanosized volcano-type pattern (4-6 nm of height, 100 nm of width, and around 3 volcanos/μm(2)) randomly distributed over the surface. The dendritic attribute of the grafted silylated coupling agent affords enough anchoring sites to immobilize covalently functional gold nanoparticles (GNPs), coated with amino PEG polymer to resolve the chemical nature of the surfaces and especially the volcano type nanopattern structures of the heterogeneous monolayer. Thus, the versatile surface chemistry developed herein is particularly challenging as the nanodesign is straightforward achieved in a bottom-up approach without any specific lithography device. PMID:23855987

  5. Risk Governance of Multiple Natural Hazards: Centralized versus Decentralized Approach in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komendantova, Nadejda; Scolobig, Anna; Vinchon, Charlotte

    2014-05-01

    The multi-risk approach is a relatively new field and its definition includes the need to consider multiple hazards and vulnerabilities in their interdependency (Selva, 2013) and the current multi-hazards disasters, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe, showed the need for a multi-risk approach in hazard mitigation and management. Our knowledge about multi-risk assessment, including studies from different scientific disciplines and developed assessment tools, is constantly growing (White et al., 2001). However, the link between scientific knowledge, its implementation and the results in terms of improved governance and decision-making have gained significantly less attention (IRGC, 2005; Kappes et al., 2012), even though the interest to risk governance, in general, has increased significantly during the last years (Verweiy and Thompson, 2006). Therefore, the key research question is how risk assessment is implemented and what is the potential for the implementation of a multi-risk approach in different governance systems across Europe. More precisely, how do the characteristics of risk governance, such as the degree of centralization versus decentralization, influence the implementation of a multi-risk approach. The methodology of this research includes comparative case study analysis of top-down and bottom-up interactions in governance in the city of Naples, (Italy), where the institutional landscape is marked by significant autonomy of Italian regions in decision-making processes for assessing the majority of natural risks, excluding volcanic, and in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, an overseas department of France, where the decision-making process is marked by greater centralization in decision making associated with a well established state governance within regions, delegated to the prefect and decentralised services of central ministries. The research design included documentary analysis and extensive empirical work involving

  6. Three approaches to investigating the multidimensional nature of a science assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gokiert, Rebecca Jayne

    The purpose of this study was to investigate a multi-method approach for collecting validity evidence about the underlying knowledge and skills measured by a large-scale science assessment. The three approaches included analysis of dimensionality, differential item functioning (DIF), and think-aloud interviews. The specific research questions addressed were: (1) Does the 4-factor model previously found by Hamilton et al. (1995) for the grade 8 sample explain the data? (2) Do the performances of male and female students systematically differ? Are these performance differences captured in the dimensions? (3) Can think-aloud reports aid in the generation of hypotheses about the underlying knowledge and skills that are measured by this test? A confirmatory factor analysis of the 4-factor model revealed good model data fit for both the AB and AC tests. Twenty-four of the 83 AB test items and 16 of the 77 AC test items displayed significant DIF, however, items were found, on average, to favour both males and females equally. There were some systematic differences found across the 4-factors; items favouring males tended to be related to earth and space sciences, stereotypical male related activities, and numerical operations. Conversely, females were found to outperform males on items that required careful reading and attention to detail. Concurrent and retrospective verbal reports (Ericsson & Simon, 1993) were collected from 16 grade 8 students (9 male and 7 female) while they solved 12 DIF items. Four general cognitive processing themes were identified from the student protocols that could be used to explain male and female problem solving. The themes included comprehension (verbal and visual), visualization, background knowledge/experience (school or life), and strategy use. There were systematic differences in cognitive processing between the students that answered the items correctly and the students who answered the items incorrectly; however, this did not always

  7. Hanford Site background: Part 1, Soil background for nonradioactive analytes. Revision 1, Volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-04-01

    The determination of soil background is one of the most important activities supporting environmental restoration and waste management on the Hanford Site. Background compositions serve as the basis for identifying soil contamination, and also as a baseline in risk assessment processes used to determine soil cleanup and treatment levels. These uses of soil background require an understanding of the extent to which analytes of concern occur naturally in the soils. This report documents the results of sampling and analysis activities designed to characterize the composition of soil background at the Hanford Site, and to evaluate the feasibility for use as Sitewide background. The compositions of naturally occurring soils in the vadose Zone have been-determined for-nonradioactive inorganic and organic analytes and related physical properties. These results confirm that a Sitewide approach to the characterization of soil background is technically sound and is a viable alternative to the determination and use of numerous local or area backgrounds that yield inconsistent definitions of contamination. Sitewide soil background consists of several types of data and is appropriate for use in identifying contamination in all soils in the vadose zone on the Hanford Site. The natural concentrations of nearly every inorganic analyte extend to levels that exceed calculated health-based cleanup limits. The levels of most inorganic analytes, however, are well below these health-based limits. The highest measured background concentrations occur in three volumetrically minor soil types, the most important of which are topsoils adjacent to the Columbia River that are rich in organic carbon. No organic analyte levels above detection were found in any of the soil samples.

  8. A global approach to analysis and interpretation of metabolic data for plant natural product discovery†

    PubMed Central

    Hur, Manhoi; Campbell, Alexis Ann; Almeida-de-Macedo, Marcia; Li, Ling; Ransom, Nick; Jose, Adarsh; Crispin, Matt; Nikolau, Basil J.

    2013-01-01

    Discovering molecular components and their functionality is key to the development of hypotheses concerning the organization and regulation of metabolic networks. The iterative experimental testing of such hypotheses is the trajectory that can ultimately enable accurate computational modelling and prediction of metabolic outcomes. This information can be particularly important for understanding the biology of natural products, whose metabolism itself is often only poorly defined. Here, we describe factors that must be in place to optimize the use of metabolomics in predictive biology. A key to achieving this vision is a collection of accurate time-resolved and spatially defined metabolite abundance data and associated metadata. One formidable challenge associated with metabolite profiling is the complexity and analytical limits associated with comprehensively determining the metabolome of an organism. Further, for metabolomics data to be efficiently used by the research community, it must be curated in publically available metabolomics databases. Such databases require clear, consistent formats, easy access to data and metadata, data download, and accessible computational tools to integrate genome system-scale datasets. Although transcriptomics and proteomics integrate the linear predictive power of the genome, the metabolome represents the nonlinear, final biochemical products of the genome, which results from the intricate system(s) that regulate genome expression. For example, the relationship of metabolomics data to the metabolic network is confounded by redundant connections between metabolites and gene-products. However, connections among metabolites are predictable through the rules of chemistry. Therefore, enhancing the ability to integrate the metabolome with anchor-points in the transcriptome and proteome will enhance the predictive power of genomics data. We detail a public database repository for metabolomics, tools and approaches for statistical

  9. A holistic approach to study the effects of natural antioxidants on inflammation and liver cancer.

    PubMed

    Costantini, Susan; Colonna, Giovanni; Castello, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    The limited effectiveness of chemotherapy and the high recurrence rate of cancers highlight the urgent need to identify new molecular targets and to develop new treatments. Numerous epidemiological studies have recently highlighted the existence of an inverse association between fruit and vegetable consumption, natural antioxidants, and cancer risk; in fact, antioxidant intake through diet or supplements of plant origin is strongly recommended for cancer prevention and cure. In general, antioxidants are substances of vegetable, mineral, or animal origin that neutralize free radicals and protect the body from their negative actions on the plasma membrane, proteins, and DNA. Hence, cancer can be prevented by the stimulation of the immune system to destroy cancer cells or to block their proliferation. Since living organisms may be studied as a whole complex system by the "omics sciences" which tend toward understanding and describing the global information of genes, mRNA, proteins, and metabolites, our aim is to use bioinformatics and systems biology to study cytokinome, which plays an important role in the evolution of inflammatory processes and is also a key component in the evolution of cancer, a disease recognized as depending on chronic inflammation and also with the concomitant presence of type 2 diabetes and obesity. On the whole, we define cytokinome as the totality of these proteins and their interactions in and around biological cells. Understanding the complex interaction network of cytokines in patients affected by cancers should be very useful both to follow the evolution of cancer from its early stages and to define innovative therapeutic strategies by using systems biology approaches. In this paper, we review some results of our group in the light of the "omics" logic, and in particular (1) the need for a global approach to study complex systems such as multifactorial cancer and, in particular, hepatocellular carcinoma, (2) the correlation between

  10. A novel approach to characterization of effective permeability for naturally fractured reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, G.

    2013-12-01

    Fractured formations have been the important targets for hydrocarbon exploration, groundwater supply, geothermal heat storage exploitation, and storage for sequestrated carbon dioxide, etc. However, accurate modeling of effective permeability of fractured reservoir has been a challenging task because the presence of fracture network may significantly alter the reservoir hydrologic properties in that interconnected fractures can enhance the reservoir heterogeneity in several orders of magnitude. Previous fractured simulation models can be divided into continuum and discrete fracture network (DFN) approaches. In the continuum approaches such as dual porosity/permeability model, fractures are assumed to be infinitely long and distributed in a regular pattern which resulted in the ignorance of actual fracture geometry. The discrete fracture model considers fracture dimension and transmissivity of each individual fracture but has an inherent disadvantage of its high computation-intensive nature and extreme difficulty in domain discretization, which severely limit its practical applications to problems with hundreds of thousands of fractures. In this paper we proposed a new approach to calculate the effective permeability for fractured network which integrates the DFN method while still honoring the geometrical pattern of each individual fracture. A full permeability matrix for each fracture is expressed as a second rank tensor composed of three parts: a unit permeability matrix defined by fracture orientation, a scalar absolute permeability from fracture aperture based on cubic law, and a shape factor defined by fracture size. The equivalent element permeability of a cell in a model is the component-wise aggregations of the permeability tensors from each interconnected fracture within that cell. This process is repeated for every cell in the entire model domain once a DFN model is generated based on the actual fracture statistics from field investigations, core

  11. Natural Killer Cells and Neuroblastoma: Tumor Recognition, Escape Mechanisms, and Possible Novel Immunotherapeutic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Bottino, Cristina; Dondero, Alessandra; Bellora, Francesca; Moretta, Lorenzo; Locatelli, Franco; Pistoia, Vito; Moretta, Alessandro; Castriconi, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extra-cranial solid tumor of childhood and arises from developing sympathetic nervous system. Most primary tumors localize in the abdomen, the adrenal gland, or lumbar sympathetic ganglia. Amplification in tumor cells of MYCN, the major oncogenic driver, patients’ age over 18 months, and the presence at diagnosis of a metastatic disease (stage IV, M) identify NB at high risk of treatment failure. Conventional therapies did not significantly improve the overall survival of these patients. Moreover, the limited landscape of somatic mutations detected in NB is hampering the development of novel pharmacological approaches. Major efforts aim to identify novel NB-associated surface molecules that activate immune responses and/or direct drugs to tumor cells and tumor-associated vessels. PVR (Poliovirus Receptor) and B7-H3 are promising targets, since they are expressed by most high-risk NB, are upregulated in tumor vasculature and are essential for tumor survival/invasiveness. PVR is a ligand of DNAM-1 activating receptor that triggers the cytolytic activity of natural killer (NK) cells against NB. In animal models, targeting of PVR with an attenuated oncolytic poliovirus induced tumor regression and elimination. Also B7-H3 was successfully targeted in preclinical studies and is now being tested in phase I/II clinical trials. B7-H3 down-regulates NK cytotoxicity, providing NB with a mechanism of escape from immune response. The immunosuppressive potential of NB can be enhanced by the release of soluble factors that impair NK cell function and/or recruitment. Among these, TGF-β1 modulates the cytotoxicity receptors and the chemokine receptor repertoire of NK cells. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the main cell surface molecules and soluble mediators that modulate the function of NK cells in NB, considering the pros and cons that must be taken into account in the design of novel NK cell-based immunotherapeutic

  12. Integrated Metabolomics Approach Facilitates Discovery of an Unpredicted Natural Product Suite from Streptomyces coelicolor M145

    PubMed Central

    Sidebottom, Ashley M.; Johnson, Andrew R.; Karty, Jonathan A.; Trader, Darci J.; Carlson, Erin E.

    2013-01-01

    Natural products exhibit a broad range of biological properties and have been a crucial source of therapeutic agents and novel scaffolds. Although bacterial secondary metabolomes are widely explored, they remain incompletely cataloged by current isolation and characterization strategies. To identify metabolites residing in unexplored chemical space, we have developed an integrated discovery approach that combines bacterial growth perturbation, accurate mass spectrometry, comparative mass spectra data analysis, and fragmentation spectra clustering for the identification of low-abundant, novel compounds from complex biological matrices. In this investigation, we analyzed the secreted metabolome of the extensively studied Actinomycete, Streptomyces coelicolor M145, and discovered a low-abundant suite of 15 tri-hydroxamate, amphiphilic siderophores. Compounds in this class have primarily been observed in marine microorganisms making their detection in the soil-dwelling S. coelicolor M145 significant. At least ten of these ferrioxamine-based molecules are not known to be produced by any organism and none have previously been detected from S. coelicolor M145. In addition, we confirmed the production of ferrioxamine D1, a relatively hydrophilic family member that has not been shown to be biosynthesized by this organism. The identified molecules are part of only a small list of secondary metabolites that have been discovered since sequencing of S. coelicolor M145 revealed that it possessed numerous putative secondary metabolite-producing gene clusters with no known metabolites. Thus, the identified siderophores represent the unexplored metabolic potential of both well-studied and new organisms that could be uncovered with our sensitive and robust approach. PMID:23777274

  13. Natural killer cells and neuroblastoma: tumor recognition, escape mechanisms, and possible novel immunotherapeutic approaches.

    PubMed

    Bottino, Cristina; Dondero, Alessandra; Bellora, Francesca; Moretta, Lorenzo; Locatelli, Franco; Pistoia, Vito; Moretta, Alessandro; Castriconi, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extra-cranial solid tumor of childhood and arises from developing sympathetic nervous system. Most primary tumors localize in the abdomen, the adrenal gland, or lumbar sympathetic ganglia. Amplification in tumor cells of MYCN, the major oncogenic driver, patients' age over 18 months, and the presence at diagnosis of a metastatic disease (stage IV, M) identify NB at high risk of treatment failure. Conventional therapies did not significantly improve the overall survival of these patients. Moreover, the limited landscape of somatic mutations detected in NB is hampering the development of novel pharmacological approaches. Major efforts aim to identify novel NB-associated surface molecules that activate immune responses and/or direct drugs to tumor cells and tumor-associated vessels. PVR (Poliovirus Receptor) and B7-H3 are promising targets, since they are expressed by most high-risk NB, are upregulated in tumor vasculature and are essential for tumor survival/invasiveness. PVR is a ligand of DNAM-1 activating receptor that triggers the cytolytic activity of natural killer (NK) cells against NB. In animal models, targeting of PVR with an attenuated oncolytic poliovirus induced tumor regression and elimination. Also B7-H3 was successfully targeted in preclinical studies and is now being tested in phase I/II clinical trials. B7-H3 down-regulates NK cytotoxicity, providing NB with a mechanism of escape from immune response. The immunosuppressive potential of NB can be enhanced by the release of soluble factors that impair NK cell function and/or recruitment. Among these, TGF-β1 modulates the cytotoxicity receptors and the chemokine receptor repertoire of NK cells. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the main cell surface molecules and soluble mediators that modulate the function of NK cells in NB, considering the pros and cons that must be taken into account in the design of novel NK cell-based immunotherapeutic approaches

  14. Uncovering the Wave Nature of the EIT Wave for the 2010 January 17 Event through Its Correlation to the Background Magnetosonic Speed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, X. H.; Wu, S. T.; Wang, A. H.; Vourlidas, A.; Feng, X. S.; Jiang, C. W.

    2011-12-01

    An EIT wave, which typically appears as a diffuse brightening that propagates across the solar disk, is one of the major discoveries of the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. However, the physical nature of the so-called EIT wave continues to be debated. In order to understand the relationship between an EIT wave and its associated coronal wave front, we investigate the morphology and kinematics of the coronal mass ejection (CME)-EIT wave event that occurred on 2010 January 17. Using the observations of the SECCHI EUVI, COR1, and COR2 instruments on board the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observation-B, we track the shape and movements of the CME fronts along different radial directions to a distance of about 15 solar radii (Rs ); for the EIT wave, we determine the propagation of the wave front on the solar surface along different propagating paths. The relation between the EIT wave speed, the CME speed, and the local fast-mode characteristic speed is also investigated. Our results demonstrate that the propagation of the CME front is much faster than that of the EIT wave on the solar surface, and that both the CME front and the EIT wave propagate faster than the fast-mode speed in their local environments. Specifically, we show a significant positive correlation between the EIT wave speed and the local fast-mode wave speed in the propagation paths of the EIT wave. Our findings support that the EIT wave under study is a fast-mode magnetohydrodynamic wave.

  15. UNCOVERING THE WAVE NATURE OF THE EIT WAVE FOR THE 2010 JANUARY 17 EVENT THROUGH ITS CORRELATION TO THE BACKGROUND MAGNETOSONIC SPEED

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, X. H.; Feng, X. S.; Jiang, C. W.; Wu, S. T.; Wang, A. H.; Vourlidas, A. E-mail: wus@uah.edu

    2011-12-01

    An EIT wave, which typically appears as a diffuse brightening that propagates across the solar disk, is one of the major discoveries of the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. However, the physical nature of the so-called EIT wave continues to be debated. In order to understand the relationship between an EIT wave and its associated coronal wave front, we investigate the morphology and kinematics of the coronal mass ejection (CME)-EIT wave event that occurred on 2010 January 17. Using the observations of the SECCHI EUVI, COR1, and COR2 instruments on board the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observation-B, we track the shape and movements of the CME fronts along different radial directions to a distance of about 15 solar radii (R{sub s} ); for the EIT wave, we determine the propagation of the wave front on the solar surface along different propagating paths. The relation between the EIT wave speed, the CME speed, and the local fast-mode characteristic speed is also investigated. Our results demonstrate that the propagation of the CME front is much faster than that of the EIT wave on the solar surface, and that both the CME front and the EIT wave propagate faster than the fast-mode speed in their local environments. Specifically, we show a significant positive correlation between the EIT wave speed and the local fast-mode wave speed in the propagation paths of the EIT wave. Our findings support that the EIT wave under study is a fast-mode magnetohydrodynamic wave.

  16. Design of multifunctional compounds for cardiovascular disease: from natural scaffolds to "classical" multitarget approach.

    PubMed

    Bisi, A; Gobbi, S; Belluti, F; Rampa, A

    2013-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease represents the main cause of death worldwide. Novel therapies to reduce elevated blood pressure and treat resistant hypertension, to consequently reduce the associated cardiovascular risk factors, are still required. Among the different strategies commonly used in medicinal chemistry to develop new molecules, the synthesis of multitarget/hybrid compounds combining two or more pharmacophore groups targeting simultaneously selected factors involved in cardiovascular diseases, has gained increasing interest. This review will focus on the most recent literature on multifunctional cardiovascular drugs, paying particular attention on hybrid compounds bearing natural scaffolds, considering that compounds derived from medicinal extracts are generally appealing for the medicinal chemist as they often bear the so-called "privileged structures". Moreover, taking into account many excellent reviews dealing with multitarget cardiovascular drugs published in the last few years, mainly devoted to RAAS inhibition and/or NO donors hybrid drugs, herein the most significant results obtained and the benefits and limitations of these approaches will be highlighted. PMID:23410171

  17. Numerical Study of Natural Convection within a Wavy Enclosure Using Meshfree Approach: Effect of Corner Heating

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Sonam; Bhargava, R.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a numerical study of natural convection within a wavy enclosure heated via corner heating. The considered enclosure is a square enclosure with left wavy side wall. The vertical wavy wall of the enclosure and both of the corner heaters are maintained at constant temperature, Tc and Th, respectively, with Th > Tc while the remaining horizontal, bottom, top and side walls are insulated. A penalty element-free Galerkin approach with reduced gauss integration scheme for penalty terms is used to solve momentum and energy equations over the complex domain with wide range of parameters, namely, Rayleigh number (Ra), Prandtl number (Pr), and range of heaters in the x- and y-direction. Numerical results are represented in terms of isotherms, streamlines, and Nusselt number. It is observed that the rate of heat transfer depends to a great extent on the Rayleigh number, Prandtl number, length of the corner heaters and the shape of the heat transfer surface. The consistent performance of the adopted numerical procedure is verified by comparison of the results obtained through the present meshless technique with those existing in the literature. PMID:24672383

  18. The Performance of Available Approaches for Quantifying Airborne Exposure to Asbestos Generated from Natural Deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berman, D.

    2012-12-01

    General options for quantifying airborne (exposure) concentrations to asbestos include (1) direct measurement, (2) simulation, and (3) emission/dispersion modeling (of measured asbestos concentrations in the source material). Suitable options for particular applications depend on whether one is evaluating current or future and short-term episodic or long-term average exposures. Moreover, because the character and the magnitude of exposure must both be determined for many applications, methods suitable for air- or bulk-phase measurements must exhibit appropriate performance. After all, it is only when we understand precisely what exposure estimates represent that we can interpret them meaningfully. What is known about the suitability and performance of various options for quantifying asbestos exposures generated from natural deposits will be reviewed in this talk with particular emphasis on an approach in which emission and dispersion of asbestos-containing dusts are modeled from bulk-phase measurements collected using the modified elutriator method (a method designed explicitly for this particular application).

  19. Theoretical simulations on the antioxidant mechanism of naturally occurring flavonoid: A DFT approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Praveena, R.; Sadasivam, K.

    2016-05-01

    Synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are found to be toxic, hence non-carcinogenic naturally occurring radical scavengers especially flavonoids have gained considerable importance in the past two decades. In the present investigation, the radical scavenging activity of C-glycosyl flavonoids is evaluated using theoretical approach which could broaden its scope in therapeutic applications. Gas and solvent phase studies of structural and molecular characteristics of C-glycosyl flavonoid, isovitexin is investigated through hydrogen atom transfer mechanism (HAT), Electron transfer-proton transfer (ET-PT) and Sequential proton loss electron transfer (SPLET) by Density functional theory (DFT) using hybrid parameters. The computed values of the adiabatic ionization potential, electron affinity, hardness, softness, electronegativity and electrophilic index indicate that isovitexin possess good radical scavenging activity. The behavior of different -OH groups in polyphenolic compounds is assessed by considering electronic effects of the neighbouring groups and the overall geometry of molecule which in turn helps in analyzing the antioxidant capacity of the polyphenolic molecule. The studies indicate that the H-atom abstraction from 4'-OH site is preferred during the radical scavenging process. From Mulliken spin density analysis and FMOs, B-ring is found to be more delocalized center and capable of electron donation. Comparison of antioxidant activity of vitexin and isovitexin leads to the conclusion that isovitexin acts as a better radical scavenger. This is an evidence for the importance of position of glucose unit in the flavonoid.

  20. Discover natural compounds as potential phosphodiesterase-4B inhibitors via computational approaches.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Zhou, Nan; Liu, Wen; Li, Jianzong; Feng, Yu; Wang, Xiaoyun; Wu, Chuanfang; Bao, Jinku

    2016-05-01

    cAMP, intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate, is a ubiquitous second messenger that plays a key role in many physiological processes. PDE4B which can reduce the cAMP level by hydrolyzing cAMP to 5'-AMP has become a therapeutic target for the treatment of human diseases such as respiratory disorders, inflammation diseases, neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the use of currently available PDE4B inhibitors is restricted due to serious side effects caused by targeting PDE4D. Hence, we are attempting to find out subfamily-selective PDE4B inhibitors from natural products, using computer-aided approaches such as virtual screening, docking, and molecular dynamics simulation. Finally, four potential PDE4B-selective inhibitors (ZINC67912770, ZINC67912780, ZINC72320169, and ZINC28882432) were found. Compared to the reference drug (roflumilast), they scored better during the virtual screening process. Binding free energy for them was -317.51, -239.44, -215.52, and -165.77 kJ/mol, better than -129.05 kJ/mol of roflumilast. The pharmacophore model of the four candidate inhibitors comprised six features, including one hydrogen bond donor, four hydrogen bond acceptors, and one aromatic ring feature. It is expected that our study will pave the way for the design of potent PDE4B-selective inhibitors of new drugs to treat a wide variety of diseases such as asthma, COPD, psoriasis, depression, etc. PMID:26159554

  1. The application of computational fluid dynamics to natural river channels: Eddy resolving versus mean flow approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keylock, C. J.; Constantinescu, G.; Hardy, R. J.

    2012-12-01

    In the last decade, as computing power has increased, there has been an explosion in the use of eddy-resolving numerical methods in the engineering, earth and environmental sciences. For complex geomorphic flows, where accurate field investigations are difficult to perform and where experiments may be difficult to scale, these numerical approaches are beginning to give key insights into the nature of these flows. Eddy-resolving methods such as Large and Detached Eddy Simulation (LES/DES) may be contrasted with the time-averaged, three-dimensional simulations that only really began to be applied seriously in geomorphology fifteen years ago. While the potential of LES for geomorphology has been examined previously, DES is a relatively recent method that deserves further consideration. In this paper, we explain the method and then utilise examples from meander and confluence flows, as well as flow near the bed of a gravel bed river, to highlight the improvements to both the representation of the mean flow, and to the representation of time-varying processes, that result from the use of LES/DES. Some suggestions are provided for the future use of such techniques in geomorphology.

  2. Two different approaches in skin cancer therapy: using a photosensitizer/a natural product

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abraham, Annie; Gayathri, Devi D.; Cibin, T. R.; Ramaiah, D.

    2010-02-01

    This paper deals with two potential modes for the treatment of skin cancer-one a novel approach using a squaraine dye and the other using a natural product- the flavonoid fraction of Saraca asoka. Squaraine dye is a photosensitizing agent, which is preferentially taken up and retained by the tumor cells and when irradiated with high power visible light results in the selective destruction of the tumor cells by photodynamic therapy. The uniqueness of this mode of treatment lies in the selective destruction of tumor cells without affecting the neighbouring normal cells, which is much advantageous over radiation therapy now frequently used. The chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of the plant component are explored as well. The experimental models were Swiss albino mice in which skin tumor was induced by DMBA. Marked reduction in tumor volume and burden in the treated groups were observed. The reversal of biochemical enzyme markers like rhodanese, myeloperoxidase, β-D glucuronidase, lactate dehydrogenase, hexokinase and sialic acid to near normal levels were observed in the PDT and flavonoid fraction treated groups. The live photographs of the experimental animals and histopathological data further support the obtained results. The study assumes importance as it combines a traditional treatment mode and a novel aspect in cancer therapy using the same experimental models. Also this is the first report on PDT using a squaraine dye for skin cancer therapy in vivo.

  3. Nonthermal cosmic neutrino background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Mu-Chun; Ratz, Michael; Trautner, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    We point out that, for Dirac neutrinos, in addition to the standard thermal cosmic neutrino background (C ν B ), there could also exist a nonthermal neutrino background with comparable number density. As the right-handed components are essentially decoupled from the thermal bath of standard model particles, relic neutrinos with a nonthermal distribution may exist until today. The relic density of the nonthermal (nt) background can be constrained by the usual observational bounds on the effective number of massless degrees of freedom Neff and can be as large as nν nt≲0.5 nγ. In particular, Neff can be larger than 3.046 in the absence of any exotic states. Nonthermal relic neutrinos constitute an irreducible contribution to the detection of the C ν B and, hence, may be discovered by future experiments such as PTOLEMY. We also present a scenario of chaotic inflation in which a nonthermal background can naturally be generated by inflationary preheating. The nonthermal relic neutrinos, thus, may constitute a novel window into the very early Universe.

  4. Natural hazards in the Great Caucasus range on the background of climate change - risk maps for the Kazbegi and Mleta areas (Georgia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Tatjana; Gaprindashvili, George; Gobejishvili, Ramin; Keggenhoff, Ina; Elizbarashvili, Mariam; Kalandadze, Besik; Lomidze, Nino; King, Lorenz

    2013-04-01

    features of the subsurface materials, and possibly by lowering the movement persistence up to a critical level in the aeration zone. Kazbegi and Mleta belong to an extremely complex mountainous area of Georgia according to its geology and the scale and frequency of natural disaster processes. Since the year 2000, the activation of these processes results in increased damage for population, farm lands and engineering facilities that can be observed almost every year. The occurrence intervals are becoming significantly shorter. As a result, more populated areas, engineering facilities and industrial objects have to be included in the risk zones.

  5. Taming the Wild: Approaches to Nature in Japanese Early Childhood Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burke, Rachael S.

    2014-01-01

    The Japanese early childhood curriculum provides ample opportunities for children to interact with nature and to learn about natural phenomena. However, using Kalland (1995) and Martinez's (2008) theories about Japanese constructions of nature, this paper argues that most Japanese early childhood experiences do not constitute direct contact with…

  6. Synergistic approach for treatment of chicken coccidiosis using berberine - A plant natural product.

    PubMed

    Malik, Tauseef Ahmad; Kamili, Azra N; Chishti, M Z; Tanveer, Syed; Ahad, Shazia; Johri, R K

    2016-04-01

    Despite the advent of anticoccidial drugs and vaccines, coccidiosis continues to result in substantial economic losses to the poultry industry. Berberine, a natural alkaloid is well known in studies involving synergistic approaches, thereby reducing the dosage of principal drugs. Therefore, a study was designed to see whether a synergistic anticoccidial effect could be obtained between amprolium and berberine, in vivo using broiler chicken. Anticoccidial activity was measured in comparison to the reference drug amprolium on the basis of oocyst output reduction, mean weight gain and feed conversion ratio. Oocyst output was measured using Mc-Masters counting technique. Different combinations of berberine and amprolium were tested and out of which 1:1 ratio was the most effective for controlling these parasites. Oral gavaging of 100(50 + 50) mg/kg body weight of 1:1 ratio of amprolium and berberine caused the equivalent reduction in number of oocysts (38.85 ± 9.61) one day prior to that of standard drug amprolium (49.95 ± 16.65) as well as pure berberine (44.4 ± 9.61) used in the study. Weight gain of birds was also highest in the synergistic group (1547.43 ± 12.86) among all the infected groups. Besides feed conversion ratio in the synergistic group was also better (1.387 ± 0.026). The results of this study proved the effectiveness of both amprolium and berberine and revealed synergism between amprolium and berberine against coccidian oocysts, confirmed by significant reduction in the number of coccidian oocysts shed in the feces, leading to better weight gain and improved feed conversion ratio. The study deep-rooted the synergistic potential of berberine, a natural bioactive compound for controlling a protozoan parasite and the results of this study corroborate with its use for treatment of severe diarrhoea, amoebiasis and intestinal infections. PMID:26802524

  7. Mapping Natural Terroir Units using a multivariate approach and legacy data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priori, Simone; Barbetti, Roberto; L'Abate, Giovanni; Bucelli, Piero; Storchi, Paolo; Costantini, Edoardo A. C.

    2014-05-01

    Natural Terroir Unit (NTU) is a volume of earth's biosphere that is characterized by a stable set of variables related to the topography, climate, geology and soil. Methods to study the association soil-climate-vines are numerous, but the main question is always: which variables are actually important for the quality and the typicality of grapevines, and then wine, for a particular scale? This work aimed to setting up a multivariate methodology to define viticultural terroirs at the province scale (1:125,000), using viticultural and oenological legacy data. The study area was the Siena province in the Tuscany region (Central Italy). The reference grapevine cultivar was "Sangiovese", which is the most important cultivar of the region. The methodology was based upon the creation of a GIS storing several viticultural and oenological legacy data of 55 experimental vineyards (vintages between 1989-2009), the long term climate data, the digital elevation model, the soil-landscapes (land systems) and the soil profiles with the soil analysis. The selected viticultural and oenological parameters were: must sugar content, sugar accumulation rate from veraison to harvest, must titratable acidity, grape yield per vine, number of bunches for vine, mean bunch weight, and mean weight of berries. The environmental parameters related to viticulture, selected by an explorative PCA, were: elevation, mean annual temperature, mean soil temperature, annual precipitation, clay, sand and gravel content of soils, soil water availability, redoximorphic features and rooting depth. The geostatistical models of the variables interpolation were chosen on the best of mean standardize error, obtained by the cross-validation, between "Simple cokriging with varying local mean", "Multicollocated simple cokriging with varying local mean" and "Regression kriging". These variables were used for a k-means clustering aimed to map the Natural Terroirs Units (NTUs). The viticultural areas of Siena province

  8. A Response-to-Intervention Approach to Decreasing Early Literacy Differences in First Graders from Different Socioeconomic Backgrounds: Evidence for the Intervention Validity of the DIBELS

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagans, Kristi S.

    2008-01-01

    Federal legislation mandates that local education agencies provide quality, evidence-based supplemental educational services to struggling learners. Nowhere is this more salient than in underperforming schools serving children from low-income backgrounds who are at risk for developing learning problems. The study described in this article…

  9. Insightful monitoring of natural flood risk management features using a low-cost and participatory approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starkey, Eleanor; Barnes, Mhari; Quinn, Paul; Large, Andy

    2016-04-01

    Pressures associated with flooding and climate change have significantly increased over recent years. Natural Flood Risk Management (NFRM) is now seen as being a more appropriate and favourable approach in some locations. At the same time, catchment managers are also encouraged to adopt a more integrated, evidence-based and bottom-up approach. This includes engaging with local communities. Although NFRM features are being more readily installed, there is still limited evidence associated with their ability to reduce flood risk and offer multiple benefits. In particular, local communities and land owners are still uncertain about what the features entail and how they will perform, which is a huge barrier affecting widespread uptake. Traditional hydrometric monitoring techniques are well established but they still struggle to successfully monitor and capture NFRM performance spatially and temporally in a visual and more meaningful way for those directly affected on the ground. Two UK-based case studies are presented here where unique NFRM features have been carefully designed and installed in rural headwater catchments. This includes a 1km2 sub-catchment of the Haltwhistle Burn (northern England) and a 2km2 sub-catchment of Eddleston Water (southern Scotland). Both of these pilot sites are subject to prolonged flooding in winter and flash flooding in summer. This exacerbates sediment, debris and water quality issues downstream. Examples of NFRM features include ponds, woody debris and a log feature inspired by the children's game 'Kerplunk'. They have been tested and monitored over the 2015-2016 winter storms using low-cost techniques by both researchers and members of the community ('citizen scientists'). Results show that monitoring techniques such as regular consumer specification time-lapse cameras, photographs, videos and 'kite-cams' are suitable for long-term and low-cost monitoring of a variety of NFRM features. These techniques have been compared against

  10. Do Pre-Service Science Teachers Have Understanding of the Nature of Science?: Explicit-Reflective Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Örnek, Funda; Turkey, Kocaeli

    2014-01-01

    Current approaches in Science Education attempt to enable students to develop an understanding of the nature of science, develop fundamental scientific concepts, and develop the ability to structure, analyze, reason, and communicate effectively. Students pose, solve, and interpret scientific problems, and eventually set goals and regulate their…

  11. Complementary Approaches to Teaching Nature of Science: Integrating Student Inquiry, Historical Cases, and Contemporary Cases in Classroom Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allchin, Douglas; Andersen, Hanne Moller; Nielsen, Keld

    2014-01-01

    Research has now demonstrated that students can learn nature of science concepts variously through student-led investigations, contemporary cases, and historical cases. Here we articulate more precisely the merits, deficits, and context of each approach and begin to profile how to integrate them as complementary methods. Emphasis now needs to…

  12. Approach to the synthesis of natural and modified oligonucleotides by the phosphotriester method using O-nucleophilic intramolecular catalysis.

    PubMed

    Efimov, Vladimir A; Molchanova, Natalia S; Chakhmakhcheva, Oksana G

    2007-01-01

    An approach to the solid phase synthesis of natural and modified oligonucleotides using phosphotriester technique has been developed. Particularly, this method allows the synthesis of ribo- and deoxyribo-oligonucleotides containing various 2'-modified mononucleotides as well as stereodefined nucleotide phosphorothioate analogues. PMID:18058542

  13. Action with Friction: A Transactional Approach to Toddlers' Physical Meaning Making of Natural Phenomena and Processes in Preschool

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klaar, Susanne; Ohman, Johan

    2012-01-01

    Research into preschool education has paid a lot of attention to investigating children's conceptual development and cognitive learning about nature, with methods based on observations and verbal interviews before and after a teaching period. The purpose of this study has been to present and illustrate an approach that facilitates the analysis of…

  14. A Family Resemblance Approach to the Nature of Science for Science Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Irzik, Gurol; Nola, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Although there is universal consensus both in the science education literature and in the science standards documents to the effect that students should learn not only the content of science but also its nature, there is little agreement about what that nature is. This led many science educators to adopt what is sometimes called "the consensus…

  15. From Sequential Extraction to Transport Modeling, Monitored Natural Attenuation as a Remediation Approach for Inorganic Contaminants

    SciTech Connect

    POWELL, KIMBERLYR.

    2004-05-25

    Implementation of monitored natural attenuation (MNA) as a remediation method requires a mechanistic understanding of the natural attenuation processes occurring at a given site. For inorganic contaminants, natural attenuation typically involves a decrease in metal toxicity and/or mobility. These natural processes include dilution, dispersion, sorption (including adsorption, absorption, and precipitation), and redox processes. In order to better quantify these processes in terms of metal availability, sequential extraction experiments were carried out on subsurface soil samples impacted by a low pH, high sulfate, metals (Be, Ni, U, As) plume associated with the long-term operation of a coal plant at the Savannah River Site. These laboratory scale studies provide mechanistic information regarding the solid phases in the soils associated with natural attenuation of the contaminant metals. This data provides input to be evaluated in the definition of the contaminant source term as well as transport of contaminants for site transport models.

  16. Emerging Approach of Natural Language Processing in Opinion Mining: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Tai-Hoon

    Natural language processing (NLP) is a subfield of artificial intelligence and computational linguistics. It studies the problems of automated generation and understanding of natural human languages. This paper outlines a framework to use computer and natural language techniques for various levels of learners to learn foreign languages in Computer-based Learning environment. We propose some ideas for using the computer as a practical tool for learning foreign language where the most of courseware is generated automatically. We then describe how to build Computer Based Learning tools, discuss its effectiveness, and conclude with some possibilities using on-line resources.

  17. Control approaches for intelligent material systems -- What can we learn from nature?

    SciTech Connect

    Robertshaw, H.H.

    1994-12-31

    Three natural systems (human thermoregulation, enzyme-catalyzed biochemical reactions, and rivers) are examined with the intent of finding commonalties in control among these systems which may offer inspiration or guidance to the task of controlling the behavior of Intelligent Material Systems. It is observed that these natural systems act in ways not seen in technological control systems. The observations of a lack of (feedback) control, the predominance of regulation, the extremely local nature of the apparent goals, the storage of information in form (in structure), and non-numerical processing, produce a strong impression of coupled open-loop processes amidst seeming chaos almost passively producing what the author calls natural system control.

  18. An Approach for Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) at a LUST Site

    EPA Science Inventory

    The primary mechanism for natural attenuation of fuel components in ground water is aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation of the components. Biodegradation reduces the concentration of oxygen, nitrate and sulfate, and increases the concentrations of iron(II) and methane. Changes...

  19. The Empty-Pot Healing Approach: Its Origins, Nature, and Practice.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oshodi, John Egbeazien

    1999-01-01

    Describes the Oshodi (J. Oshodi) Empty-Pot Healing Approach (OEPHA), an African-based psychotherapeutic approach that aims to create balance and foster achievement motivation. Illustrates the 11 phases of the OEPHA through the case study of an adult psychotherapeutic client. (SLD)

  20. Internet-Based Approaches to Building Stakeholder Networks for Conservation and Natural Resource Management.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Social network analysis (SNA) is based on a conceptual network representation of social interactions and is an invaluable tool for conservation professionals to increase collaboration, improve information flow, and increase efficiency. We present two approaches to constructing in...

  1. Internet-Based Approaches to Building Stakeholder Networks for Conservation and Natural Resource Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    Social network analysis (SNA) is based on a conceptual network representation of social interactions and is an invaluable tool for conservation professionals to increase collaboration, improve information flow, and increase efficiency. We present two approaches to constructing i...

  2. Natural attenuation of metals and radionuclides -- An overview of the Sandia/DOE approach

    SciTech Connect

    Waters, R.D.; Brady, P.V.; Borns, D.J.

    1998-02-01

    Sandia National Laboratories is developing guidelines that outline the technical basis for relying on natural attenuation for the remediation of metals and radionuclide-contaminated soils and groundwaters at US Department of Energy (DOE) sites for those specific cases where natural processes are effective at ameliorating soil and groundwater toxicity. Remediation by monitored natural attenuation (MNA) requires a clear identification of the specific reaction(s) by which contaminant levels are made less available as well as considerable long-term monitoring. Central to MNA is the development of a conceptual model describing the biogeochemical behavior of contaminant(s) in the subsurface. The conceptual model will be used to make testable predictions of contaminant availability over time. In many cases, comparison between this prediction and field measurements will provide the test of whether MNA is to be implemented. As a result, development of the conceptual model should guide site characterization activities as well as long-term monitoring.

  3. A Career Approach to Natural Resource Management in Wildlife and Recreation. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrett, Leverne A.; Mack, Rodney P.

    A comprehensive course of study for natural resources was developed and offered to eleventh and twelfth grade students as an elective, to determine whether such a program was feasible in a high school vocational setting. An area-wide survey of environmental occupations was conducted and an advisory committee made recommendations as to course…

  4. Teaching Science Rhetorically: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Natural History, 1948-1985.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DePaolo, Charles

    1987-01-01

    Considers the different analogies used by James Rettie, Teilhard de Chardin, Robert Ardrey, Jacob Bronowski, Richard Leakey, Steven Weinberg, Heinz Pagels, and Carl Sagan to make concepts related to time and natural history accessible to the layperson. Suggests that these analogies be used at the undergraduate level in both humanities and science…

  5. An Approach for Evaluating the Progress of Natural Attenuation in Groundwater (Web Conference)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) is widely applied to ground water contamination at hazardous waste sites. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), MNA is considered to be a remedy like any other remedy. When MNA has been select...

  6. Polymer Selection Approach for Commonly and Uncommonly Used Natural Fibers Under Uncertainty Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    AL-Oqla, Faris M.; Sapuan, S. M.

    2015-07-01

    Factors like awareness of the scarcity of non-renewable natural resources, high petroleum prices, and demands for environmental sustainability, as well as reducing the amount of environmental pollution, have led to a renewed interest in natural fiber reinforced polymer composites as a potential bio-based material type. The best polymer matrix type in view of the wide range of conflicting criteria to form a polymeric-based composite material suitable for sustainable industry under an uncertainty environment has still not been sufficiently determined. This work introduces a selection model to evaluate the available polymers for natural fibers to enhance the industrial sustainability theme. The model built was developed to evaluate various polymer types and to determine their relative merits taking account of various conflicting criteria for both commonly used and uncommonly used natural fibers utilizing the analytical hierarchy process technique. It was found that the choice of the best polymer type for a certain fiber type depends strongly on the polymers' intrinsic desirable conflicting characteristics. Polymers evaluations are illustrated for different technical criteria in order to facilitate the polymer selection process for various industrial applications with high confidence levels.

  7. Beyond Exemplars and Prototypes as Memory Representations of Natural Concepts: A Clustering Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Verbeemen, Timothy; Vanpaemel, Wolf; Pattyn, Sven; Storms, Gert; Verguts, Tom

    2007-01-01

    Categorization in well-known natural concepts is studied using a special version of the Varying Abstraction Framework (Vanpaemel, W., & Storms, G. (2006). A varying abstraction framework for categorization. Manuscript submitted for publication; Vanpaemel, W., Storms, G., & Ons, B. (2005). A varying abstraction model for categorization. In B. Bara,…

  8. Cardiovascular friendly natural products: a promising approach in the management of CVD.

    PubMed

    Shukla, Santosh K; Gupta, Shipra; Ojha, Shreesh K; Sharma, Suman B

    2010-05-01

    Natural products play an important role as nutritional supplements and provide potential health benefits in cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Compiling data from experimental, epidemiological and clinical studies indicates that dietary nutrients have profound cardioprotective effects in the primary as well as secondary prevention of coronary heart disease, hence they are considered as cardiovascular friendly natural products. The mechanism of cardioprotection produced by dietary nutritional supplements such as flavonoids (citrus fruits, pulses, red wine, tea and cocoa), olive oil, omega-3 (omega-3) fatty acids (fish oil and fish-based products), lycopene (tomato and tomato-based products), resveratrol (grapes and red wine), coffee, and soy in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disorders have been discussed in the present review, with the emphasis of epidemiological and clinical studies. Based on the intriguing results of various studies, prophylactic and therapeutic potential of cardiovascular friendly natural products have been suggested. The supplementation of cardiovascular friendly natural products needs to be considered in all populations who have high prevalence of CVD. PMID:20461632

  9. Science Teachers' Thinking about the Nature of Science: A New Methodological Approach to Its Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vazquez-Alonso, Angel; Garcia-Carmona, Antonio; Manassero-Mas, Maria Antonia; Bennassar-Roig, Antoni

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes Spanish science teachers' thinking about issues concerning the nature of science (NOS) and the relationships connecting science, technology, and society (STS). The sample consisted of 774 in-service and pre-service teachers. The participants responded to a selection of items from the Questionnaire of Opinions on Science,…

  10. Longitudinal, Educational Design Research Investigation of the Temporal Nature of Learning: Taking a Vygotskian Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, John

    2010-01-01

    The nature of learning is being augmented by new digital tools, particularly by mobile devices and the networks and structures to which they connect people. In this paper I examine some longitudinal research "threads" that have pervaded my work over the last two decades: (i) the powerful perspectives on learning and development put forward by…

  11. Undergraduate Students' Conceptions of Natural and Anthropogenic Climate Change: A Case Study Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trenbath, Thien-Kim Leckie

    2012-01-01

    This dissertation shows the evolution of five undergraduate students' ideas of natural and anthropogenic climate change throughout a lecture hall course on climate change. This research was informed by conceptual change theory and students' inaccurate ideas of climate change. Subjects represented different levels of climate change understanding at…

  12. A Fuzzy Set Approach to Modifiers and Vagueness in Natural Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hersh, Harry M.; Caramazza, Alfonso

    1976-01-01

    The proposition that natural language concepts are represented as fuzzy sets, a generalization of the traditional theory of sets, of meaning components and that language operators--adverbs, negative markers, and adjectives--can be considered as operators on fuzzy sets was assessed empirically. (Editor/RK)

  13. Children's Concepts of Natural Phenomena: Use of a Cognitive Mapping Approach to Describe These Concepts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowell, Richard M.

    Reported is a study based on the summary findings of a series of studies which indicated that many children who receive organized instruction designed around the few major concepts of science do, in fact, use scientific models to explain their observations of natural phenomena. The instruction that children in the study received was delivered by…

  14. A bioremediation approach using natural transformation in pure-culture and mixed-population biofilms.

    PubMed

    Perumbakkam, Sudeep; Hess, Thomas F; Crawford, Ronald L

    2006-12-01

    Bacterial transformation by naked DNA is thought to contribute to gene transfer and microbial evolution within natural environments. In nature many microbial communities exist as complex assemblages known as biofilms where genetic exchange is facilitated. It may be possible to take advantage of natural transformation processes to modify the phenotypes of biofilm communities giving them specific and desirable functions. Work described here shows that biofilms composed of either pure cultures or mixed populations can be transformed with specific catabolic genes such that the communities acquire the ability to degrade a particular xenobiotic compound. Biofilms were transformed by plasmids bearing genes encoding green fluorescent protein (mut2) and/or atrazine chlorohydrolase (atzA). Confocal microscopy was used to quantify the number of transformants expressing mut2 in the biofilms. Degradation of atrazine by expressed atzA was quantified by tandem mass spectrometry. PCR analysis was performed to confirm the presence of atzA in transformed biofilms. These results indicate that it should be possible to use natural transformation to enhance bioremediation processes performed by biofilms. PMID:16477353

  15. Undergraduate students' conceptions of natural and anthropogenic climate change: A case study approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trenbath, Thien-Kim Leckie

    This dissertation shows the evolution of five undergraduate students' ideas of natural and anthropogenic climate change throughout a lecture hall course on climate change. This research was informed by conceptual change theory and students' inaccurate ideas of climate change. Subjects represented different levels of climate change understanding at the beginning of the course and were selected based on their scores on a climate change questionnaire. The study was designed to research how students' ideas changed throughout the course and compare trajectories of lower and higher achieving students. At the beginning, students had different levels of understanding, but as the semester continued, the lower-performing students progressed more than the higher-performing students. At the end of the course, all students described more ideas than they did at the beginning; however some of these ideas were inconsistent with the professors' instruction. Lower-performing students struggled more than the higher-performing students. Struggles included differentiating climate change and its causes, effects, and consequences from other environmental problems. Students also struggled with the idea that climate change is anthropogenic despite it being natural in the past. In order to understand that climate change is impacted by human forcings in addition to natural forcings, students developed the relationship that climate change is natural and humans are "speeding it up." They took time to integrate this relationship into their prior ideas. Three of the students constructed a definition of climate change that was different than the professor's. Two students defined "climate change" as only the natural aspects of climate change and reserved the anthropogenic changes for the term "global warming". For a third student, "climate change" included damming rivers, eutrophication, frog mutations, ozone depletion, and overfishing, which are environmental ailments but not climate change.

  16. Distribution of uranium, thorium and some stable trace and toxic elements in human hair and nails in Niška Banja Town, a high natural background radiation area of Serbia (Balkan Region, South-East Europe).

    PubMed

    Sahoo, S K; Žunić, Z S; Kritsananuwat, R; Zagrodzki, P; Bossew, P; Veselinovic, N; Mishra, S; Yonehara, H; Tokonami, S

    2015-07-01

    Human hair and nails can be considered as bio-indicators of the public exposure to certain natural radionuclides and other toxic metals over a long period of months or even years. The level of elements in hair and nails usually reflect their levels in other tissues of body. Niška Banja, a spa town located in southern Serbia, with locally high natural background radiation was selected for the study. To assess public exposure to the trace elements, hair and nail samples were collected and analyzed. The concentrations of uranium, thorium and some trace and toxic elements (Mn, Ni, Cu, Sr, Cd, and Cs) were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). U and Th concentrations in hair varied from 0.0002 to 0.0771 μg/g and from 0.0002 to 0.0276 μg/g, respectively. The concentrations in nails varied from 0.0025 to 0.0447 μg/g and from 0.0023 to 0.0564 μg/g for U and Th, respectively. We found significant correlations between some elements in hair and nails. Also indications of spatial clustering of high values could be found. However, this phenomenon as well as the large variations in concentrations of heavy metals in hair and nail could not be explained. As hypotheses, we propose possible exposure pathways which may explain the findings, but the current data does not allow testing them. PMID:25875006

  17. In-silico analysis of putative HCV epitopes against Pakistani human leukocyte antigen background: An approach towards development of future vaccines for Pakistani population.

    PubMed

    Ashraf, Naeem Mahmood; Bilal, Muhammad; Mahmood, Malik Siddique; Hussain, Aadil; Mehboob, Muhammad Zubair

    2016-09-01

    Mounting burden of HCV-infected individuals and soaring cost of treatment is a serious source of unease for developing countries. Numbers of various approaches have been anticipated to develop a vaccine against HCV but the majority of them proved ineffective. Development of vaccine by considering geographical distribution of HCV genotypes and host genetics shows potential. In this research article, we have tried to predict most putative HCV epitopes which are efficiently restricted by most common HLA alleles in Pakistani population through different computational algorithms. Thirteen selected, experimentally identified epitopes sequences were used to derived consensus sequences in all genotypes of HCV. Obtained consensus sequences were used to predict their binding affinities with most prevalent HLA alleles in Pakistani population. Two Class-I epitopes from NS4B region, one from Class-I epitope from NS5A and one Class-II epitope from NS3 region showed effective binding and proved to be highly putative to boost immune response. A cocktail of these four have been checked for population coverage and they gave 75.53% for Pakistani Asian and 70.77% for Pakistani Mixed populations with no allergenic response. Computational algorithms are robust way to shortlist potential candidate epitopes for vaccine development but further, in vivo and in-vitro studies are required to confirm their immunogenic properties. PMID:27166094

  18. Learning from nature: new approaches to the metabolic engineering of plant defense pathways.

    PubMed

    Jirschitzka, Jan; Mattern, Derek Joseph; Gershenzon, Jonathan; D'Auria, John Charles

    2013-04-01

    Biotechnological manipulation of plant defense pathways can increase crop resistance to herbivores and pathogens while also increasing yields of medicinal, industrial, flavor and fragrance compounds. The most successful achievements in engineering defense pathways can be attributed to researchers striving to imitate natural plant regulatory mechanisms. For example, the introduction of transcription factors that control several genes in one pathway is often a valuable strategy to increase flux in that pathway. The use of multi-gene cassettes which mimic natural gene clusters can facilitate coordinated regulation of a pathway and speed transformation efforts. The targeting of defense pathway genes to organs and tissues in which the defensive products are typically made and stored can also increase yield as well as defensive potential. PMID:23141769

  19. Natural polyphenols down-regulate universal stress protein in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: An in-silico approach.

    PubMed

    Aanandhi, M Vijey; Bhattacherjee, Debojit; George, P Samuel Gideon; Ray, Anirban

    2014-10-01

    Universal stress protein (USP) is a novel target to overcome the tuberculosis resistance. Our present study enlightens the possibilities of some natural polyphenols as an antioxidant for USP. The study has shown some molecular simulations of some selected natural antioxidants with USP. We have considered USP (Rv1636) strain for homology modeling and the selected template was taken for the docking study. Curcumin, catechin, reservetrol has shown ARG 136 (1.8Å) hydrogen bonding and two ionic bonding with carboxyl group of curcumin with LEU 130 (3.3Å) and ASN 144 (3.4Å) respectively. INH was taken for the standard molecule to perform molecular simulation. It showed poor binding interaction with the target, that is, -5.18 kcal, and two hydrogen bonding with SER 140 (1.887Å), ARG 147 (2.064Å) respectively. The study indicates possible new generation curcumin analogue for future therapy to down-regulate USP. PMID:25364695

  20. A category adjustment approach to memory for spatial location in natural scenes.

    PubMed

    Holden, Mark P; Curby, Kim M; Newcombe, Nora S; Shipley, Thomas F

    2010-05-01

    Memories for spatial locations often show systematic errors toward the central value of the surrounding region. This bias has been explained using a Bayesian model in which fine-grained and categorical information are combined (Huttenlocher, Hedges, & Duncan, 1991). However, experiments testing this model have largely used locations contained in simple geometric shapes. Use of this paradigm raises 2 issues. First, do results generalize to the complex natural world? Second, what types of information might be used to segment complex spaces into constituent categories? Experiment 1 addressed the 1st question by showing a bias toward prototypical values in memory for spatial locations in complex natural scenes. Experiment 2 addressed the 2nd question by manipulating the availability of basic visual cues (using color negatives) or of semantic information about the scene (using inverted images). Error patterns suggest that both perceptual and conceptual information are involved in segmentation. The possible neurological foundations of location memory of this kind are discussed. PMID:20438259

  1. Technical approaches of a natural dye extracted from Phytolacca americana L.-berries with chemical mordants.

    PubMed

    Park, Su-Youn; Jung, Suk-Yul

    2014-01-01

    Phytolacca americana L. is a large semi-succulent herbaceous plant which reaches three meters in height. It is native to eastern North America, the Midwest, and the Gulf Coast, with more scattered populations in the far West. It is imported into Korea and has been frequently used as a traditional natural drug for diseases such as systemic edema and nephritis. Its berries, that is, fruits are shiny dark purple held in racemous clusters on pink pedicels with a pink peduncle. They are round with a flat indented top and bottom. Immature berries are green, maturing into white and then blackish purple. It is not well known how the berries are used for a natural staining yet. In this study, using Phytolacca americana L.-berries, a natural staining was analyzed. Moreover, due to the broad use of chemical mordants, five different mordants including copper acetate, aluminum potassium sulfate, sodium tartrate plus citric acid, Iron II sulfate and potassium dichromate were combined. Extracted dye from the berries stained silk fabrics with ivory. The original purple color from the berries disappeared and transformed into ivory. Although the silk fabrics were differentially stained by the berries that were combined with mordants of aluminum potassium sulfate, sodium tartrate plus citric acid and potassium dichromate, only differences in lightness and darkness were observed. Interestingly, the combination of the dye from the berries with a mordant of copper acetate and Iron II sulfate induced the staining of the silk fabrics into khaki and dark khaki, respectively. This study is the first systemic report on staining silk fabrics with Phytolacca americana L.-berries and chemical mordants and suggests application of natural products to the fiber industry. PMID:24704646

  2. Generative electronic background music system

    SciTech Connect

    Mazurowski, Lukasz

    2015-03-10

    In this short paper-extended abstract the new approach to generation of electronic background music has been presented. The Generative Electronic Background Music System (GEBMS) has been located between other related approaches within the musical algorithm positioning framework proposed by Woller et al. The music composition process is performed by a number of mini-models parameterized by further described properties. The mini-models generate fragments of musical patterns used in output composition. Musical pattern and output generation are controlled by container for the mini-models - a host-model. General mechanism has been presented including the example of the synthesized output compositions.

  3. An Approach to Teaching General Chemistry II that Highlights the Interdisciplinary Nature of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sumter, Takita Felder; Owens, Patrick M.

    2011-01-01

    The need for a revised curriculum within the life sciences has been well-established. One strategy to improve student preparation in the life sciences is to redesign introductory courses like biology, chemistry, and physics so that they better reflect their disciplinary interdependence. We describe a medically relevant, context-based approach to…

  4. The Natural Selection: Identifying Student Misconceptions through an Inquiry-Based, Critical Approach to Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robbins, Jennifer R.; Roy, Pamela

    2007-01-01

    We invited 141 non-science major undergraduates to share and then challenge their preconceptions about evolution in a four-lesson inquiry lab unit that integrated diverse topics with rigorous assessment. Our experience suggests that an inquiring approach to evolutionary theory can be highly persuasive.

  5. Forest-Farming: An Ecological Approach to Increase Nature's Food Productivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Douglas, James Sholto

    1973-01-01

    An innovative approach to raise the standards of nourishment and feed tomorrow's larger population is presented, along with a short history of forest-farming, including diagrams representing orthodoxy and innovation in farming and forestry. A bold and imaginative effort employing science and technology is imperative. (EB)

  6. Generalized approach to inverse problems in tomography: Image reconstruction for spatially variant systems using natural pixels

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, J.R.; Budinger, T.F.; Huesman, R.H.

    1992-10-01

    A major limitation in tomographic inverse problems is inadequate computation speed, which frequently impedes the application of engineering ideas and principles in medical science more than in the physical and engineering sciences. Medical problems are computationally taxing because a minimum description of the system often involves 5 dimensions (3 space, 1 energy, 1 time), with the range of each space coordinate requiring up to 512 samples. The computational tasks for this problem can be simply expressed by posing the problem as one in which the tomograph system response function is spatially invariant, and the noise is additive and Gaussian. Under these assumptions, a number of reconstruction methods have been implemented with generally satisfactory results for general medical imaging purposes. However, if the system response function of the tomograph is assumed more realistically to be spatially variant and the noise to be Poisson, the computational problem becomes much more difficult. Some of the algorithms being studied to compensate for position dependent resolution and statistical fluctuations in the data acquisition process, when expressed in canonical form, are not practical for clinical applications because the number of computations necessary exceeds the capabilities of high performance computer systems currently available. Reconstruction methods based on natural pixels, specifically orthonormal natural pixels, preserve symmetries in the data acquisition process. Fast implementations of orthonormal natural pixel algorithms can achieve orders of magnitude speedup relative to general implementations. Thus, specialized thought in algorithm development can lead to more significant increases in performance than can be achieved through hardware improvements alone.

  7. One-loop stress-tensor renormalization in curved background: The relation between ζ-function and point-splitting approaches, and an improved point-splitting procedure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moretti, Valter

    1999-08-01

    We conclude the rigorous analysis of a previous paper [V. Moretti, Commun. Math. Phys. 201, 327 (1999)] concerning the relation between the (Euclidean) point-splitting approach and the local ζ-function procedure to renormalize physical quantities at one-loop in (Euclidean) Quantum Field Theory in curved space-time. The case of the stress tensor is now considered in general D-dimensional closed manifolds for positive scalar operators -Δ+V(x). Results obtained formally in previous works [in the case D=4 and V(x)=ξR(x)+m2] are rigorously proven and generalized. It is also proven that, in static Euclidean manifolds, the method is compatible with Lorentzian-time analytic continuations. It is proven that the result of the ζ-function procedure is the same obtained from an improved version of the point-splitting method which uses a particular choice of the term w0(x,y) in the Hadamard expansion of the Green's function, given in terms of heat-kernel coefficients. This version of the point-splitting procedure works for any value of the field mass m. If D is even, the result is affected by an arbitrary one-parameter class of (conserved in absence of external source) symmetric tensors, dependent on the geometry locally, and it gives rise to the general correct trace expression containing the renormalized field fluctuations as well as the conformal anomaly term. Furthermore, it is proven that, in the case D=4 and V(x)=ξR(x)+m2, the given procedure reduces to the Euclidean version of Wald's improved point-splitting procedure provided the arbitrary mass scale present in the ζ-function is chosen opportunely. It is finally argued that the found point-splitting method should work generally, also dropping the hypothesis of a closed manifold, and not depending on the ζ-function procedure. This fact is indeed checked in the Euclidean section of Minkowski space-time for A=-Δ+m2 where the method gives rise to the correct Minkowski stress tensor for m2⩾0 automatically.

  8. A new approach to evaluate natural zeolite ability to sorb lead (Pb) from aqueous solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drosos, Evangelos I. P.; Karapanagioti, Hrissi K.

    2013-04-01

    Lead (Pb) is a hazardous pollutant commonly found in aquatic ecosystems. Among several methods available, the addition of sorbent amendments to soils or sediments is attractive, since its application is relatively simple, while it can also be cost effective when a low cost and re-usable sorbent is used; e.g. natural zeolites. Zeolites are crystalline aluminosilicates with a three-dimensional structure composed of a set of cavities occupied by large ions and water molecules. Zeolites can accommodate a wide variety of cations, such as Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, which are rather loosely held and can readily be exchanged for others in an aqueous solution. Natural zeolites are capable of removing cations, such as lead, from aqueous solutions by ion exchange. There is a wide variation in the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of natural zeolites because of the different nature of various zeolites cage structures, natural structural defects, adsorbed ions, and their associated gangue minerals. Naturally occurring zeolites are rarely pure and are contaminated to varying degrees by other minerals, such as clays and feldspars, metals, quartz, or other zeolites as well. These impurities affect the CEC even for samples originated from the same region but from a different source. CEC of the material increases with decreasing impurity content. Potentially exchangeable ions in such impurities do not necessarily participate in ion exchange mechanism, while, in some cases, impurities may additionally block the access to active sites. For zeoliferous rocks having the same percentage of a zeolitic phase, the CEC increases with decreasing Si/Al ratio, as the more Si ions are substituted by Al ions, the more negative the valence of the matrix becomes. Sodium seems to be the most effective exchangeable ion for lead. On the contrary, it is unlikely that the potassium content of the zeolite would be substituted. A pretreatment with high concentration solutions of Na, such as 2 M NaCl, can

  9. New frontiers in pharmaceutical analysis: A metabolomic approach to check batch compliance of complex products based on natural substances.

    PubMed

    Mattoli, L; Burico, M; Fodaroni, G; Tamimi, S; Bedont, S; Traldi, P; Stocchero, M

    2016-07-15

    Natural substances, particularly medicinal plants and their extracts, are still today intended as source for new Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). Alternatively they can be validly employed to prepare medicines, food supplements or medical devices. The most adopted analytical approach used to verify quality of natural substances like medicinal plants is based still today on the traditional quantitative determination of marker compounds and/or active ingredients, besides the acquisition of a fingerprint by TLC, NIR, HPLC, GC. Here a new analytical approach based on untargeted metabolomic fingerprinting by means of Mass Spectrometry (MS) to verify the quality of grinTuss adulti syrup, a complex products based on medicinal plants, is proposed. Recently, untargeted metabolomic has been successfully applied to assess quality of natural substances, plant extracts, as well as corresponding formulated products, being the complexity a resource but not necessarily a limit. The untargeted metabolomic fingerprinting includes the monitoring of the main constituents, giving weighted relevance to the most abundant ones, but also considering minor components, that might be notable in view of an integrated - often synergistic - effect on the biological system. Two different years of production were investigated. The collected samples were analyzed by Flow Injection ElectroSpray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Analysis (FIA-ESI-MS) and a suitable data processing procedure was developed to transform the MS spectra into robust fingerprints. Multivariate Statistical Process Control (MSPC) was applied in order to obtain multivariate control charts that were validated to prove the effectiveness of the proposed method. PMID:27155737

  10. A combined telemetry - tag return approach to estimate fishing and natural mortality rates of an estuarine fish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bacheler, N.M.; Buckel, J.A.; Hightower, J.E.; Paramore, L.M.; Pollock, K.H.

    2009-01-01

    A joint analysis of tag return and telemetry data should improve estimates of mortality rates for exploited fishes; however, the combined approach has thus far only been tested in terrestrial systems. We tagged subadult red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) with conventional tags and ultrasonic transmitters over 3 years in coastal North Carolina, USA, to test the efficacy of the combined telemetry - tag return approach. There was a strong seasonal pattern to monthly fishing mortality rate (F) estimates from both conventional and telemetry tags; highest F values occurred in fall months and lowest levels occurred during winter. Although monthly F values were similar in pattern and magnitude between conventional tagging and telemetry, information on F in the combined model came primarily from conventional tags. The estimated natural mortality rate (M) in the combined model was low (estimated annual rate ?? standard error: 0.04 ?? 0.04) and was based primarily upon the telemetry approach. Using high-reward tagging, we estimated different tag reporting rates for state agency and university tagging programs. The combined telemetry - tag return approach can be an effective approach for estimating F and M as long as several key assumptions of the model are met.

  11. A Collaborative Approach for Scoping Ecosystem Services with Stakeholders: The Case of Arrábida Natural Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopes, Rita; Videira, Nuno

    2016-08-01

    This paper presents an innovative approach for conducting collaborative scoping processes aiming to elicit multiple values of ecosystem services. The proposed methodology rests on three steps combining different participatory tools that promote a comprehensive examination of the perceptions hold by relevant stakeholder groups. The first step consists of an institutional and stakeholder analysis developed in the study area. The second includes a participatory workshop, where a sequence of scoping exercises is conducted with the active collaboration of the invited stakeholders. The final step aims to validate scoping results and develop dependency networks between organizations and the identified ecosystem services. The approach was tested in the Arrábida Natural Park, a marine and coastal protected area in Portugal. Invited participants were able to identify an extensive list of ecosystem services in the natural area, establish linkages between those services and human wellbeing, identify drivers of change and perform a preliminary screening of the associated ecological, social, and economic values. The case study evaluation provided positive feedback on the usefulness of the approach, which advances the existing set of methods for participatory identification of ecosystem services and sets the scene for involvement of stakeholder groups in assessment and management processes.

  12. A Collaborative Approach for Scoping Ecosystem Services with Stakeholders: The Case of Arrábida Natural Park.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Rita; Videira, Nuno

    2016-08-01

    This paper presents an innovative approach for conducting collaborative scoping processes aiming to elicit multiple values of ecosystem services. The proposed methodology rests on three steps combining different participatory tools that promote a comprehensive examination of the perceptions hold by relevant stakeholder groups. The first step consists of an institutional and stakeholder analysis developed in the study area. The second includes a participatory workshop, where a sequence of scoping exercises is conducted with the active collaboration of the invited stakeholders. The final step aims to validate scoping results and develop dependency networks between organizations and the identified ecosystem services. The approach was tested in the Arrábida Natural Park, a marine and coastal protected area in Portugal. Invited participants were able to identify an extensive list of ecosystem services in the natural area, establish linkages between those services and human wellbeing, identify drivers of change and perform a preliminary screening of the associated ecological, social, and economic values. The case study evaluation provided positive feedback on the usefulness of the approach, which advances the existing set of methods for participatory identification of ecosystem services and sets the scene for involvement of stakeholder groups in assessment and management processes. PMID:27220337

  13. Health, biodiversity, and natural resource use on the Amazon frontier: an ecosystem approach.

    PubMed

    Murray, T P; Sánchez-Choy, J

    2001-01-01

    This study aims to improve the health of rural Amazonian communities through the development and application of a participatory ecosystem approach to human health assessment. In the study area marked seasonal fluctuations dictate food availability, water quality and disease outbreak. Determining the causal linkages between ecosystem variables, resource use and health required a variety of forms of inquiry at multiple scales with local participation. Landscape spatial mapping of resource use demonstrated the diversity of the ecological resources upon which communities depend. Household surveys detailed family and individual consumption and production patterns. Anthropometric measurements, parasite loading, water quality and anemia levels were used as indicators of health status. This was complemented with an ethnographic and participatory health assessment that provided the foundation for developing community action plans addressing health issues. Discussion is focused on three attributes of an ecosystem approach; (a) methodological pluralism, (b) cross-scale interactions and (c) participatory action research. PMID:11426280

  14. Fingerprinting sedimentary and soil units by their natural metal contents: a new approach to assess metal contamination.

    PubMed

    Amorosi, Alessandro; Guermandi, Marina; Marchi, Nazaria; Sammartino, Irene

    2014-12-01

    One of the major issues when assessing soil contamination by inorganic substances is reliable determination of natural metal concentrations. Through integrated sedimentological, pedological and geochemical analyses of 1414 (topsoil/subsoil) samples from 707 sampling stations in the southern Po Plain (Italy), we document that the natural distribution of five potentially toxic metals (Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn and Pb) can be spatially predicted as a function of three major factors: source-rock composition, grain size variability and degree of soil weathering. Thirteen genetic and functional soil units (GFUs), each reflecting a unique combination of these three variables, are fingerprinted by distinctive geochemical signatures. Where sediment is supplied by ultramafic (ophiolite-rich) sources, the natural contents of Cr and Ni in soils almost invariably exceed the Italian threshold limits designated for contaminated lands (150 mg/kg and 120 mg/kg, respectively), with median values around twice the maximum permissible levels (345 mg/kg for Cr and 207 mg/kg for Ni in GFU B5). The original provenance signal is commonly confounded by soil texture, with general tendency toward higher metal concentrations in the finest-grained fractions. Once reliable natural metal concentrations in soils are established, the anthropogenic contribution can be promptly assessed by calculating metal enrichments in topsoil samples. The use of combined sedimentological and pedological criteria to fingerprint GFU geochemical composition is presented here as a new approach to enhance predictability of natural metal contents, with obvious positive feedbacks for legislative purposes and environmental protection. Particularly, natural metal concentrations inferred directly from a new type of pedogeochemical map, built according to the international guideline ISO 19258, are proposed as an efficient alternative to the pre-determined threshold values for soil contamination commonly established by the national

  15. Internet-Based Approaches to Building Stakeholder Networks for Conservation and Natural Resource Management.

    PubMed

    Kreakie, B J; Hychka, K C; Belaire, J A; Minor, E; Walker, H A

    2016-02-01

    Social network analysis (SNA) is based on a conceptual network representation of social interactions and is an invaluable tool for conservation professionals to increase collaboration, improve information flow, and increase efficiency. We present two approaches to constructing internet-based social networks, and use an existing traditional (survey-based) case study to illustrate in a familiar context the deviations in methods and results. Internet-based approaches to SNA offer a means to overcome institutional hurdles to conducting survey-based SNA, provide unique insight into an institution's web presences, allow for easy snowballing (iterative process that incorporates new nodes in the network), and afford monitoring of social networks through time. The internet-based approaches differ in link definition: hyperlink is based on links on a website that redirect to a different website and relatedness links are based on a Google's "relatedness" operator that identifies pages "similar" to a URL. All networks were initiated with the same start nodes [members of a conservation alliance for the Calumet region around Chicago (n = 130)], but the resulting networks vary drastically from one another. Interpretation of the resulting networks is highly contingent upon how the links were defined. PMID:26503113

  16. Internet-Based Approaches to Building Stakeholder Networks for Conservation and Natural Resource Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreakie, B. J.; Hychka, K. C.; Belaire, J. A.; Minor, E.; Walker, H. A.

    2016-02-01

    Social network analysis (SNA) is based on a conceptual network representation of social interactions and is an invaluable tool for conservation professionals to increase collaboration, improve information flow, and increase efficiency. We present two approaches to constructing internet-based social networks, and use an existing traditional (survey-based) case study to illustrate in a familiar context the deviations in methods and results. Internet-based approaches to SNA offer a means to overcome institutional hurdles to conducting survey-based SNA, provide unique insight into an institution's web presences, allow for easy snowballing (iterative process that incorporates new nodes in the network), and afford monitoring of social networks through time. The internet-based approaches differ in link definition: hyperlink is based on links on a website that redirect to a different website and relatedness links are based on a Google's "relatedness" operator that identifies pages "similar" to a URL. All networks were initiated with the same start nodes [members of a conservation alliance for the Calumet region around Chicago ( n = 130)], but the resulting networks vary drastically from one another. Interpretation of the resulting networks is highly contingent upon how the links were defined.

  17. An objective and parsimonious approach for classifying natural flow regimes at a continental scale

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Archfield, Stacey A.; Kennen, Jonathan G.; Carlisle, Daren M.; Wolock, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Hydro-ecological stream classification-the process of grouping streams by similar hydrologic responses and, by extension, similar aquatic habitat-has been widely accepted and is considered by some to be one of the first steps towards developing ecological flow targets. A new classification of 1543 streamgauges in the contiguous USA is presented by use of a novel and parsimonious approach to understand similarity in ecological streamflow response. This novel classification approach uses seven fundamental daily streamflow statistics (FDSS) rather than winnowing down an uncorrelated subset from 200 or more ecologically relevant streamflow statistics (ERSS) commonly used in hydro-ecological classification studies. The results of this investigation demonstrate that the distributions of 33 tested ERSS are consistently different among the classification groups derived from the seven FDSS. It is further shown that classification based solely on the 33 ERSS generally does a poorer job in grouping similar streamgauges than the classification based on the seven FDSS. This new classification approach has the additional advantages of overcoming some of the subjectivity associated with the selection of the classification variables and provides a set of robust continental-scale classes of US streamgauges. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  18. ENHANCED ATTENUATION: A REFERENCE GUIDE ON APPROACHES TO INCREASE THE NATURAL TREATMENT CAPACITY OF A SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Looney, B; Michael Heitkamp, M; Gary Wein , G; Karen Vangelas, K; Karen-M Adams, K; Tom Early; Bob Borden; David Major; W. Jody Waugh; Todd Wiedemeier; Claire H. Sink

    2006-08-10

    The objective of this document is to explore the realm of enhancements to natural attenuation processes for cVOCs and review examples that have been proposed, modeled, and implemented. We will identify lessons learned from these case studies to confirm that enhancements are technically feasible and have the potential to achieve a favorable, cost-effective contaminant mass balance. Furthermore, we hope to determine if opportunities for further improvement of the enhancements exist and suggest areas where new and innovative types of enhancements might be possible.

  19. The cause of complexity in nature: An analytical and computational approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainzer, Klaus

    2012-09-01

    This work is going to present the cause of complexity in nature from an analytical and computational point of view. The cause of complex pattern formation is explained by the local activity of cells in complex systems which are analytically modeled by nonlinear reaction-diffusion equations in physics, chemistry, biology and brain research. There are not only rigorous analytical criteria of local activity and the edge of chaos, but also constructive procedures to visualize them by computer simulations. In technology, the question arises whether these criteria and procedures can be used to construct artificial life and artificial minds.

  20. Enhanced Attenuation: A Reference Guide On Approaches To Increase The Natural Treatment Capacity Of A System

    SciTech Connect

    Vangelas, K

    2006-01-30

    The objective of this document is to explore the realm of enhancements to natural attenuation processes for cVOCs and review examples that have been proposed, modeled, and implemented. We will identify lessons learned from these case studies to confirm that enhancements are technically feasible and have the potential to achieve a favorable, cost-effective contaminant mass balance. Furthermore, we hope to determine if opportunities for further improvement of the enhancements exist and suggest areas where new and innovative types of enhancements might be possible.

  1. Fluorescent diagnostics of organic pollution in natural waters: A neural network approach

    SciTech Connect

    Orlov, Y.V.; Persiantsev, I.G.; Rebrik, S.P.

    1995-12-31

    Rapid diagnosis of pollution is one of the key tasks in the field of ecological monitoring of natural and technogeneous environment. One of the promising methods of fluorescent diagnosis of organic pollution of water environment is the registration and analysis of two-dimensional Spectral Fluorescent Signatures (SFS). The neural networks - based system suggested in this paper is intended for solving the problem of detection, identification, and concentration measurement of water environmental pollution. The suggested system uses SFS as input pattern and allows one to build a rapid diagnosis system for ecological monitoring.

  2. From Sequential Extraction to Transport Modeling: Monitored Natural Attenuation as a Remediation Approach for Inorganic Contaminants

    SciTech Connect

    Crapse, Kimberly P.; Serkiz, Steven M.; Pishko, Adrian L.; Kaplan, Daniel L.; Lee, Cindy M.; Schank, Anja

    2005-08-18

    To quantify metal natural attenuation processes in terms of environmental availability, sequential extraction experiments were carried out on subsurface soil samples impacted by a low pH, high sulfate, metals (Be, Ni, U, As) plume associated with the long-term operation of a coal plant at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Despite significant heterogeneity resulting both from natural and anthropogenic factors, sequential extraction results demonstrate that pH is a controlling factor in the prediction of the distribution of metal contaminants within the solid phases in soils at the site as well as the contaminant partitioning between the soil and the soil solution. Results for beryllium, the most mobile metal evaluated, exhibit increasing attenuation along the plume flow path which corresponds to an increasing plume pH. These laboratory- and field-scale studies provide mechanistic information regarding partitioning of metals to soils at the site (one of the major attenuation mechanisms for the metals at the field site). Subsequently, these data have been used in the definition of the contaminant source terms and contaminant transport factors in risk modeling for the site.

  3. Novel Techniques and Approaches to Unravel the Nature of X-Ray Absorption Spectra

    SciTech Connect

    Groot, F. M. F. de

    2007-02-02

    This paper discusses the role of resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS) to unravel the nature of the states that are visible in the pre-edge region of the 3d metal K edges. The traditional pre-edge analysis into quadrupole transitions to the 3d-states plus dipole transitions to the 4p states is outlined, with special attention to the situation of TiO2. The general possibilities of RIXS are described, including the various possible cross-sections through the 2D RIXS plane. Recent developments in High-Energy Resolution Fluorescence Detection (HERFD) are discussed, that yield XANES-like spectra with unprecedented resolution. Using the 1s2p RIXS of LiCoO2 as example, the presence of an extra peak due to non-local dipole transitions is explained. The non-local nature of this dipole pre-edge peak is proven from its behavior in the 2D RIXS plane. The paper also discusses a range of selective X-ray absorption experiments, where the selectivity is towards (a) the spin-state, (b) the valence, (c) the neighbor atom and (d) the edge. In the outlook, a number of additional experimental routes is suggested, which shows that the use of RIXS, HERFD and selective XAS techniques is only just starting.

  4. Function of minerals in the natural radioactivity level of Vaigai River sediments, Tamilnadu, India - Spectroscopical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramasamy, V.; Paramasivam, K.; Suresh, G.; Jose, M. T.

    2014-01-01

    Using Gamma ray and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic techniques, level of natural radioactivity (238U, 232Th and 40K) and mineralogical characterization of Vaigai River sediments have been analyzed with the view of evaluating the radiation risk and its relation to available minerals. Different radiological parameters are calculated to know the entire radiological characterization. The average of activity concentrations and all radiological parameters are lower than the recommended safety limit. However, some sites are having higher radioactivity values than the safety limit. From the FTIR spectroscopic technique, the minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, orthoclase feldspar, kaolinite, gibbsite, calcite, montmorillonite and organic carbon are identified and they are characterized. The extinction co-efficient values are calculated to know the relative distribution of major minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, orthoclase feldspar and kaolinite. The calculated values indicate that the amount of quartz is higher than orthoclase feldspar, microcline feldspar and much higher than kaolinite. Crystallinity index is calculated to know the crystalline nature of quartz and the result indicates that the presence of ordered crystalline quartz in the present sediment. The role of minerals in the level of radioactivity is assessed by multivariate statistical analysis (Pearson's correlation and Cluster analysis). The statistical analysis confirms that the clay mineral kaolinite is the major factor than other major minerals to induce the important radioactivity variables such as absorbed dose rate and concentrations of 232Th and 238U.

  5. Emerging Approaches in Synchrotron Studies of Materials from Cultural and Natural History Collections.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Loïc; Bernard, Sylvain; Marone, Federica; Thoury, Mathieu; Reiche, Ina; Gourrier, Aurélien; Sciau, Philippe; Bergmann, Uwe

    2016-02-01

    Synchrotrons have provided significant methods and instruments to study ancient materials from cultural and natural heritages. New ways to visualise (surfacic or volumic) morphologies are developed on the basis of elemental, density and refraction contrasts. They now apply to a wide range of materials, from historic artefacts to paleontological specimens. The tunability of synchrotron beams owing to the high flux and high spectral resolution of photon sources is at the origin of the main chemical speciation capabilities of synchrotron-based techniques. Although, until recently, photon-based speciation was mainly applicable to inorganic materials, novel developments based, for instance, on STXM and deep UV photoluminescence bring new opportunities to study speciation in organic and hybrid materials, such as soaps and organometallics, at a submicrometric spatial resolution over large fields of view. Structural methods are also continuously improved and increasingly applied to hierarchically structured materials for which organisation results either from biological or manufacturing processes. High-definition (spectral) imaging appears as the main driving force of the current trend for new synchrotron techniques for research on cultural and natural heritage materials. PMID:27572990

  6. Testing Local Adaptation in a Natural Great Tit-Malaria System: An Experimental Approach

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Tania; Delhaye, Jessica; Christe, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Finding out whether Plasmodium spp. are coevolving with their vertebrate hosts is of both theoretical and applied interest and can influence our understanding of the effects and dynamics of malaria infection. In this study, we tested for local adaptation as a signature of coevolution between malaria blood parasites, Plasmodium spp. and its host, the great tit, Parus major. We conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment of birds in the field, where we exposed birds from two populations to Plasmodium parasites. This experimental set-up also provided a unique opportunity to study the natural history of malaria infection in the wild and to assess the effects of primary malaria infection on juvenile birds. We present three main findings: i) there was no support for local adaptation; ii) there was a male-biased infection rate; iii) infection occurred towards the end of the summer and differed between sites. There were also site-specific effects of malaria infection on the hosts. Taken together, we present one of the few experimental studies of parasite-host local adaptation in a natural malaria system, and our results shed light on the effects of avian malaria infection in the wild. PMID:26555892

  7. Wintering Waterbirds and Recreationists in Natural Areas: A Sociological Approach to the Awareness of Bird Disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Corre, Nicolas; Peuziat, Ingrid; Brigand, Louis; Gélinaud, Guillaume; Meur-Férec, Catherine

    2013-10-01

    Disturbance to wintering birds by human recreational activities has become a major concern for managers of many natural areas. Few studies have examined how recreationists perceive their effects on birds, although this impacts their behavior on natural areas. We surveyed 312 users on two coastal ornithological sites in Brittany, France, to investigate their perception of the effects of human activities on wintering birds. The results show that the awareness of environmental issues and knowledge of bird disturbance depends on the socioeconomic characteristics of each user group, both between the two sites and within each site. Results also indicate that, whatever the site and the user group, the vast majority of the respondents (77.6 %) believed that their own presence had no adverse effects on the local bird population. Various arguments were put forward to justify the users' own harmlessness. Objective information on recreationists' awareness of environmental issues, and particularly on their own impact on birds, is important to guide managers in their choice of the most appropriate visitor educational programs. We recommend developing global but also specific educational information for each type of user to raise awareness of their own impact on birds.

  8. Analysis of liquid natural gas as a truck fuel: a system dynamics approach

    SciTech Connect

    Bray, M.A.; Sebo, D.E.; Mason, T.L.; Mills, J.I.; Rice, R.E.

    1996-10-01

    The purpose of this analysis is to evaluate the potential for growth in use of liquid natural gas (LNG) fueled trucks. . A system dynamics model was constructed for the analysis and a variety of scenarios were investigated. The analysis considers the economics of LNG fuel in the context of the trucking industry to identify barriers to the increased use of LNG trucks and potential interventions or leverage points which may overcome these barriers. The study showed that today, LNG use in trucks is not yet economically viable. A large change in the savings from fuel cost or capital cost is needed for the technology to take off. Fleet owners have no way now to benefit from the environmental benefits of LNG fuel nor do they benefit from the clean burning nature of the fuel. Changes in the fuel cost differential between diesel and LNG are not a research issue. However, quantifying the improvements in reliability and wear from the use of clean fuel could support increased maintenance and warranty periods. Many people involved in the use of LNG for trucks believe that LNG has the potential to occupy a niche within the larger diesel truck business. But if LNG in trucks can become economic, the spread of fuel stations and technology improvements could lead to LNG trucks becoming the dominant technology. An assumption in our simulation work is that LNG trucks will be purchased when economically attractive. None of the simulation results show LNG becoming economic but then only to the level of a niche market.

  9. A novel geotechnical/geostatistical approach for exploration and production of natural gas from multiple geologic strata, Phase 1

    SciTech Connect

    Overbey, W.K. Jr.; Reeves, T.K.; Salamy, S.P.; Locke, C.D.; Johnson, H.R.; Brunk, R.; Hawkins, L. )

    1991-05-01

    This research program has been designed to develop and verify a unique geostatistical approach for finding natural gas resources. The project has been conducted by Beckley College, Inc., and BDM Engineering Services Company (BDMESC) under contract to the US Department of Energy (DOE), Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC). This section, Volume II, contains a detailed discussion of the methodology used and the geological and production information collected and analyzed for this study. A companion document, Volume 1, provides an overview of the program, technique and results of the study. In combination, Volumes I and II cover the completion of the research undertaken under Phase I of this DOE project, which included the identification of five high-potential sites for natural gas production on the Eccles Quadrangle, Raleigh County, West Virginia. Each of these sites was selected for its excellent potential for gas production from both relatively shallow coalbeds and the deeper, conventional reservoir formations.

  10. Pore space characteristics vs. stress-strain markers: two contrasting approaches on how to predict durability of porous natural stone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prikryl, Richard; Weishauptova, Zuzana; Lokajicek, Tomas

    2016-04-01

    Pore space characteristics, specifically its textural properties derived from mercury porosimetry present useful data that are often employed as one of the proxies for the evaluation of the durability of porous construction materials, specifically of natural stone or bricks. Interconnected pore spaces present pathways for migration of moisture, water, or water-soluble salts in porous materials, but do not provide direct evidence on mechanical properties including resistance to brittle damage caused by various physical weathering processes. On contrary, experimentally derived rock mechanical properties are used very rarely for the estimation of the durability of natural stone. This concerns not only basic rock mechanical properties (strength) but also deformation (stress-strain behaviour) and energetic parameters derived from it. In the recent study, we are discussing both these approaches and looking for possible correlation or for mutual use of data from both types of tests.

  11. Reducing Onshore Natural Gas and Oil Exploration and Production Impacts Using a Broad-Based Stakeholder Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Amy Childers

    2011-03-30

    Never before has the reduction of oil and gas exploration and production impacts been as important as it is today for operators, regulators, non-governmental organizations and individual landowners. Collectively, these stakeholders are keenly interested in the potential benefits from implementing effective environmental impact reducing technologies and practices. This research project strived to gain input and insight from such a broad array of stakeholders in order to identify approaches with the potential to satisfy their diverse objectives. The research team examined three of the most vital issue categories facing onshore domestic production today: (1) surface damages including development in urbanized areas, (2) impacts to wildlife (specifically greater sage grouse), and (3) air pollution, including its potential contribution to global climate change. The result of the research project is a LINGO (Low Impact Natural Gas and Oil) handbook outlining approaches aimed at avoiding, minimizing, or mitigating environmental impacts. The handbook identifies technical solutions and approaches which can be implemented in a practical and feasible manner to simultaneously achieve a legitimate balance between environmental protection and fluid mineral development. It is anticipated that the results of this research will facilitate informed planning and decision making by management agencies as well as producers of oil and natural gas. In 2008, a supplemental task was added for the researchers to undertake a 'Basin Initiative Study' that examines undeveloped and/or underdeveloped oil and natural gas resources on a regional or geologic basin scope to stimulate more widespread awareness and development of domestic resources. Researchers assessed multi-state basins (or plays), exploring state initiatives, state-industry partnerships and developing strategies to increase U.S. oil and gas supplies while accomplishing regional economic and environmental goals.

  12. Traditional and non-traditional approaches to the prediction of natural disasters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sapunov, Valentin; Glazyrina, Tatiana

    2016-04-01

    Since the beginning of the 21st century the number of disasters in the world increased approximately two times. Damage from disasters cost an average of 230 billion dollars per year. Recently, the death toll in the disaster has reached 230,000 - 1 000,000 per year. Along with earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, increased the number of forest and steppe fires. These processes are not fully known global, geophysical and space reasons. Of great importance are perennial not until the end of the study of natural cycles. There is evidence that the state of the planet's surface affect processes in the Earth's core. Understanding the causes and prediction of the tragic events require an integrated effort based on the synthesis of various sciences as well as history which has knowledge about the disasters of the past. Factor that reduces the risk is constant monitoring, including both distant and contact methods. However, its possibility is limited. Firstly, due to the high cost of global, especially space monitoring. Secondly, due to the unpredictability of some processes. In December 2004, the countries of Southeast Asia hit by the tsunami. The death gotten 250 000 people. Animals in this cataclysm appeared to stay safety and advance left the danger zone. Animals are able to predict hazards having no materials predecessors. Participants nuclear tests show - a day before the explosion of the animals escape dangerous zone. This means that animals have the ability to predict the catastrophic events. The most important abiotic factor, the physical nature of which is still not clear is time. One of the scientists, who achieved some success in the study of time, was N.Kozyrev (1908-1983). He devoted his life to the study of the phenomenon of time and attempt to systematize the knowledge of him as a physical substance. Kozyrev in his theoretical calculations and experiments found the new field - the field of time (chrono-information). Through it can instantly and accurately transmit

  13. Characterization of Natural Organic Matter in Alluvial Aquifer Sediments: Approaches and Implications for Reactivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, P. M.; Nico, P. S.; Hao, Z.; Gilbert, B.; Tfaily, M. M.; Devadoss, J.

    2015-12-01

    Sediment-associated natural organic matter (NOM) is an extremely complex assemblage of organic molecules with a wide range of sizes, functional groups, and structures, which is intricately associated with mineral particles. The chemical nature of NOM may control its' reactivity towards metals, minerals, enzymes, and bacteria. Organic carbon concentrations in subsurface sediments are typically much lower than in surface soils, posing a distinct challenge for characterization. In this study, we investigated NOM associated with shallow alluvial aquifer sediments in a floodplain of the Colorado River. Total organic carbon (TOC) contents in these subsurface sediments are typically around 0.1%, but can range from 0.03% up to approximately 1.5%. Even at the typical TOC values of 0.1%, the mass of sediment-associated OC is approximately 5000 times higher than the mass of dissolved OC, representing a large pool of carbon that may potentially be mobilized or degraded under changing environmental conditions. Sediment-associated OC is much older than both the depositional age of the alluvial sediments and dissolved OC in the groundwater, indicating that the vast majority of NOM was sequestered by the sediment long before it was deposited in the floodplain. We have characterized the sediment-bound NOM from two locations within the floodplain with differing physical and geochemical properties. One location has relatively low organic carbon (<0.2%) and is considered suboxic [dissolved oxygen is low or absent, but no dissolved Fe(II) observed], while the other is a naturally reducing zone with higher organic carbon (0.2-1.5%) and Fe(II)-reducing conditions. An extraction scheme was developed using a combination of sequential extraction [water and sodium pyrophosphate (pH 10)] and purification in order to isolate different fractions of sediment-associated NOM. Analysis of these different NOM fractions was then carried out by FTIR and ESI-FTICR-MS to allow for comparison of NOM

  14. Natural History, Diagnostic Approaches, and Therapeutic Strategies for Patients With Asymptomatic Severe Aortic Stenosis.

    PubMed

    Généreux, Philippe; Stone, Gregg W; O'Gara, Patrick T; Marquis-Gravel, Guillaume; Redfors, Björn; Giustino, Gennaro; Pibarot, Philippe; Bax, Jeroen J; Bonow, Robert O; Leon, Martin B

    2016-05-17

    Aortic stenosis (AS) is one of the most common valvular diseases encountered in clinical practice. Current guidelines recommend aortic valve replacement (AVR) when the aortic valve is severely stenotic and the patient is symptomatic; however, a substantial proportion of patients with severe AS are asymptomatic at the time of first diagnosis. Although specific morphological valve features, exercise testing, stress imaging, and biomarkers can help to identify patients with asymptomatic severe AS who may benefit from early AVR, the optimal management of these patients remains uncertain and controversial. The current report presents a comprehensive review of the natural history and the diagnostic evaluation of asymptomatic patients with severe AS, and is followed by a meta-analysis from reported studies comparing an early AVR strategy to active surveillance, with an emphasis on the level of evidence substantiating the current guideline recommendations. Finally, perspectives on directions for future investigation are discussed. PMID:27049682

  15. The natural tiling approach to cation conductivity in KAlO2 polymorphs.

    PubMed

    Voronin, Vladimir I; Shekhtman, Georgi Sh; Blatov, Vladislav A

    2012-08-01

    A detailed analysis of correlations between structural features and cation conductivity is performed for KAlO(2) polymorphs in a wide temperature range of 300-1023 K. To explore the migration maps of K(+) cations we have used neutron diffraction data for low- and high-temperature KAlO(2) polymorphs and applied for the first time a novel algorithm based on the natural tiling concept and implemented it into the program package TOPOS. Five independent elementary channels for the K(+) cation migration have been revealed whose cross-sections were found to be essentially different in the low-temperature form, indicating a high anisotropy of the cation conductivity. During the transition to the cubic high-temperature phase all five channels become equivalent with sharply increased cross-sections that account for the jump-like increase of the cation conductivity and gives rise to its three-dimensional character. PMID:22810905

  16. An Approach to the Constrained Design of Natural Laminar Flow Airfoils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, Bradford E.

    1997-01-01

    A design method has been developed by which an airfoil with a substantial amount of natural laminar flow can be designed, while maintaining other aerodynamic and geometric constraints. After obtaining the initial airfoil's pressure distribution at the design lift coefficient using an Euler solver coupled with an integral turbulent boundary layer method, the calculations from a laminar boundary layer solver are used by a stability analysis code to obtain estimates of the transition location (using N-Factors) for the starting airfoil. A new design method then calculates a target pressure distribution that will increase the laminar flow toward the desired amount. An airfoil design method is then iteratively used to design an airfoil that possesses that target pressure distribution. The new airfoil's boundary layer stability characteristics are determined, and this iterative process continues until an airfoil is designed that meets the laminar flow requirement and as many of the other constraints as possible.

  17. An approach to the constrained design of natural laminar flow airfoils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, Bradford Earl

    1995-01-01

    A design method has been developed by which an airfoil with a substantial amount of natural laminar flow can be designed, while maintaining other aerodynamic and geometric constraints. After obtaining the initial airfoil's pressure distribution at the design lift coefficient using an Euler solver coupled with an integml turbulent boundary layer method, the calculations from a laminar boundary layer solver are used by a stability analysis code to obtain estimates of the transition location (using N-Factors) for the starting airfoil. A new design method then calculates a target pressure distribution that will increase the larninar flow toward the desired amounl An airfoil design method is then iteratively used to design an airfoil that possesses that target pressure distribution. The new airfoil's boundary layer stability characteristics are determined, and this iterative process continues until an airfoil is designed that meets the laminar flow requirement and as many of the other constraints as possible.

  18. Impact of textural anisotropy on syn-kinematic partial melting of natural gneisses: an experimental approach.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganzhorn, Anne-Céline; Trap, Pierre; Arbaret, Laurent; Champallier, Rémi; Fauconnier, Julien; Labrousse, Loic; Prouteau, Gaëlle

    2015-04-01

    Partial melting of continental crust is a strong weakening process controlling its rheological behavior and ductile flow of orogens. This strength weakening due to partial melting is commonly constrained experimentally on synthetic starting material with derived rheological law. Such analog starting materials are preferentially used because of their well-constrained composition to test the impact of melt fraction, melt viscosity and melt distribution upon rheology. In nature, incipient melting appears in particular locations where mineral and water contents are favorable, leading to stromatic migmatites with foliation-parallel leucosomes. In addition, leucosomes are commonly located in dilatants structural sites like boudin-necks, in pressure shadows, or in fractures within more competent layers of migmatites. The compositional layering is an important parameter controlling melt flow and rheological behavior of migmatite but has not been tackled experimentally for natural starting material. In this contribution we performed in-situ deformation experiments on natural rock samples in order to test the effect of initial gneissic layering on melt distribution, melt flow and rheological response. In-situ deformation experiments using a Paterson apparatus were performed on two partially melted natural gneissic rocks, named NOP1 & PX28. NOP1, sampled in the Western Gneiss Region (Norway), is biotite-muscovite bearing gneiss with a week foliation and no gneissic layering. PX28, sampled from the Sioule Valley series (French Massif Central), is a paragneiss with a very well pronounced layering with quartz-feldspar-rich and biotite-muscovite-rich layers. Experiments were conducted under pure shear condition at axial strain rate varying from 5*10-6 to 10-3 s-1. The main stress component was maintained perpendicular to the main plane of anisotropy. Confining pressure was 3 kbar and temperature ranges were 750°C and 850-900°C for NOP1 and PX28, respectively. For the 750

  19. Estimating the hatchery fraction of a natural population: a Bayesian approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barber, Jarrett J.; Gerow, Kenneth G.; Connolly, Patrick J.; Singh, Sarabdeep

    2011-01-01

    There is strong and growing interest in estimating the proportion of hatchery fish that are in a natural population (the hatchery fraction). In a sample of fish from the relevant population, some are observed to be marked, indicating their origin as hatchery fish. The observed proportion of marked fish is usually less than the actual hatchery fraction, since the observed proportion is determined by the proportion originally marked, differential survival (usually lower) of marked fish relative to unmarked hatchery fish, and rates of mark retention and detection. Bayesian methods can work well in a setting such as this, in which empirical data are limited but for which there may be considerable expert judgment regarding these values. We explored a Bayesian estimation of the hatchery fraction using Monte Carlo–Markov chain methods. Based on our findings, we created an interactive Excel tool to implement the algorithm, which we have made available for free.

  20. Science Teachers' Thinking About the Nature of Science: A New Methodological Approach to Its Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vázquez-Alonso, Ángel; García-Carmona, Antonio; Manassero-Mas, María Antonia; Bennàssar-Roig, Antoni

    2013-04-01

    This paper describes Spanish science teachers' thinking about issues concerning the nature of science (NOS) and the relationships connecting science, technology, and society (STS). The sample consisted of 774 in-service and pre-service teachers. The participants responded to a selection of items from the Questionnaire of Opinions on Science, Technology & Society in a multiple response model. These data were processed to generate the invariant indices that are used as the bases for subsequent quantitative and qualitative analyses. The overall results reflect moderately informed conceptions, and a detailed analysis by items, categories, and positions reveals a range of positive and negative conceptions about the topics of NOS dealt with in the questionnaire items. The implications of the findings for teaching and teacher training on the themes of NOS are discussed.

  1. El Dorado Air Quality Management District's Approach to Dealing With Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA) Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, C.

    2012-12-01

    In 2005, Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA) in El Dorado County made headlines with the discovery significant amounts of tremolite/actinolite asbestos in areas where residents had built, or were in the process of building, homes and residences. The El Dorado Air Quality Management District has been involved in all aspects of dealing with NOA from the very beginning of its discovery, from overseeing the rehabilitation of school sites to expanding and rewriting fugitive dust rules at construction sites. A discussion of best management practices which have been developed will be given, as well as how the El Dorado Air Quality Management District has worked to educate members of the public, as well as workers in the field, about NOA to aid in maintaining the health and safety of the public.

  2. Forecast of natural aquifer discharge using a data-driven, statistical approach.

    PubMed

    Boggs, Kevin G; Van Kirk, Rob; Johnson, Gary S; Fairley, Jerry P

    2014-01-01

    In the Western United States, demand for water is often out of balance with limited water supplies. This has led to extensive water rights conflict and litigation. A tool that can reliably forecast natural aquifer discharge months ahead of peak water demand could help water practitioners and managers by providing advanced knowledge of potential water-right mitigation requirements. The timing and magnitude of natural aquifer discharge from the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (ESPA) in southern Idaho is accurately forecast 4 months ahead of the peak water demand, which occurs annually in July. An ARIMA time-series model with exogenous predictors (ARIMAX model) was used to develop the forecast. The ARIMAX model fit to a set of training data was assessed using Akaike's information criterion to select the optimal model that forecasts aquifer discharge, given the previous year's discharge and values of the predictor variables. Model performance was assessed by application of the model to a validation subset of data. The Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency for model predictions made on the validation set was 0.57. The predictor variables used in our forecast represent the major recharge and discharge components of the ESPA water budget, including variables that reflect overall water supply and important aspects of water administration and management. Coefficients of variation on the regression coefficients for streamflow and irrigation diversions were all much less than 0.5, indicating that these variables are strong predictors. The model with the highest AIC weight included streamflow, two irrigation diversion variables, and storage. PMID:24571388

  3. An explicit and reflective approach to the use of history to promote understanding of the nature of science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudge, David W.; Howe, Eric M.

    2009-05-01

    Monk and Osborne (Sci Educ 81:405-424, 1997) provide a rigorous justification for why history and philosophy of science should be incorporated as an integral component of instruction and a model for how history of science should be used to promote learning of and about science. In the following essay we critique how history of science is used on this model, and in particular, their advocacy of a direct comparison of students’ conceptions of scientific phenomena with those of past scientists. We propose instead an alternative approach that promotes a more active engagement by inviting students to engage in the sort of reasoning that led past scientists to reach insights about scientific phenomena. As an example we describe in detail two lesson plans taken from an eight-class unit developed with reference to the history of research on sickle-cell anemia. These lessons demonstrate how an open-ended, problem-solving approach can be used to help students deepen their understanding of science. Throughout the unit students are invited to explicitly and reflectively consider the implications of their reasoning about the disease for their understanding of nature of science issues. The essay draws attention to how this alternative approach actually more closely aligns with the constructivist rationale Monk and Osborne have articulated. It concludes with a brief summary of empirical research demonstrating the efficacy of this approach.

  4. Background sources at PEP

    SciTech Connect

    Lynch, H.; Schwitters, R.F.; Toner, W.T.

    1988-01-01

    Important sources of background for PEP experiments are studied. Background particles originate from high-energy electrons and positrons which have been lost from stable orbits, ..gamma..-rays emitted by the primary beams through bremsstrahlung in the residual gas, and synchrotron radiation x-rays. The effect of these processes on the beam lifetime are calculated and estimates of background rates at the interaction region are given. Recommendations for the PEP design, aimed at minimizing background are presented. 7 figs., 4 tabs.

  5. Multi-choice stochastic bi-level programming problem in cooperative nature via fuzzy programming approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maiti, Sumit Kumar; Roy, Sankar Kumar

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, a Multi-Choice Stochastic Bi-Level Programming Problem (MCSBLPP) is considered where all the parameters of constraints are followed by normal distribution. The cost coefficients of the objective functions are multi-choice types. At first, all the probabilistic constraints are transformed into deterministic constraints using stochastic programming approach. Further, a general transformation technique with the help of binary variables is used to transform the multi-choice type cost coefficients of the objective functions of Decision Makers(DMs). Then the transformed problem is considered as a deterministic multi-choice bi-level programming problem. Finally, a numerical example is presented to illustrate the usefulness of the paper.

  6. Lessons from Nature: A Bio-Inspired Approach to Molecular Design.

    PubMed

    Cook, Sarah A; Hill, Ethan A; Borovik, A S

    2015-07-14

    Metalloproteins contain actives sites with intricate structures that perform specific functions with high selectivity and efficiency. The complexity of these systems complicates the study of their function and the understanding of the properties that give rise to their reactivity. One approach that has contributed to the current level of understanding of their biological function is the study of synthetic constructs that mimic one or more aspects of the native metalloproteins. These systems allow individual contributions to the structure and function to be analyzed and also permit spectroscopic characterization of the metal cofactors without complications from the protein environment. This Current Topic is a review of synthetic constructs as probes for understanding the biological activation of small molecules. These topics are developed from the perspective of seminal molecular design breakthroughs from the past that provide the foundation for the systems used today. PMID:26079379

  7. The natural evolution of endoscopic approaches in skull base surgery: robotic-assisted surgery?

    PubMed

    Dallan, I; Castelnuovo, P; Vicini, C; Tschabitscher, M

    2011-12-01

    The current surgical trend is to expand the variety of minimally invasive approaches and, in particular, the possible applications of robotic systems in head and neck surgery. This is particularly intriguing in skull base regions. In this paper, we review the current literature and propose personal considerations on the role of robotic techniques in this field. A brief description of our personal preclinical experience on skull base robotic dissection represents the basis for further considerations. We are convinced that the advantages of robotic surgery applied to the posterior cranial fossa are similar to those already clinically experienced in other areas (oropharynx, tongue base), in terms of tremor-free, bimanual, precise dissection: the implementation of instruments for bony work and resolving current drawbacks will definitely increase the applicability of such a system in forthcoming years. PMID:22323850

  8. Experimental approaches to studying the nature and impact of splicing variation in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Keightley, M C; Markmiller, S; Love, C G; Rasko, J E J; Lieschke, G J; Heath, J K

    2016-01-01

    From a fixed number of genes carried in all cells, organisms create considerable diversity in cellular phenotype through differential regulation of gene expression. One prevalent source of transcriptome diversity is alternative pre-mRNA splicing, which is manifested in many different forms. Zebrafish models of splicing dysfunction due to mutated spliceosome components provide opportunity to link biochemical analyses of spliceosome structure and function with whole organism phenotypic outcomes. Drawing from experience with two zebrafish mutants: cephalophŏnus (a prpf8 mutant, isolated for defects in granulopoiesis) and caliban (a rnpc3 mutant, isolated for defects in digestive organ development), we describe the use of glycerol gradient sedimentation and native gel electrophoresis to resolve components of aberrant splicing complexes. We also describe how RNAseq can be employed to examine relatively rare alternative splicing events including intron retention. Such experimental approaches in zebrafish can promote understanding of how splicing variation and dysfunction contribute to phenotypic diversity and disease pathogenesis. PMID:27443930

  9. Untangling Natural Seascape Variation from Marine Reserve Effects Using a Landscape Approach

    PubMed Central

    Huntington, Brittany E.; Karnauskas, Mandy; Babcock, Elizabeth A.; Lirman, Diego

    2010-01-01

    Distinguishing management effects from the inherent variability in a system is a key consideration in assessing reserve efficacy. Here, we demonstrate how seascape heterogeneity, defined as the spatial configuration and composition of coral reef habitats, can mask our ability to discern reserve effects. We then test the application of a landscape approach, utilizing advances in benthic habitat mapping and GIS techniques, to quantify this heterogeneity and alleviate the confounding influence during reserve assessment. Seascape metrics were quantified at multiple spatial scales using a combination of spatial image analysis and in situ surveys at 87 patch reef sites in Glover's Reef Lagoon, Belize, within and outside a marine reserve enforced since 1998. Patch reef sites were then clustered into classes sharing similar seascape attributes using metrics that correlated significantly to observed variations in both fish and coral communities. When the efficacy of the marine reserve was assessed without including landscape attributes, no reserve effects were detected in the diversity and abundance of fish and coral communities, despite 10 years of management protection. However, grouping sites based on landscape attributes revealed significant reserve effects between site classes. Fish had higher total biomass (1.5×) and commercially important biomass (1.75×) inside the reserve and coral cover was 1.8 times greater inside the reserve, though direction and degree of response varied by seascape class. Our findings show that the application of a landscape classification approach vastly improves our ability to evaluate the efficacy of marine reserves by controlling for confounding effects of seascape heterogeneity and suggests that landscape heterogeneity should be considered in future reserve design. PMID:20808833

  10. Untangling natural seascape variation from marine reserve effects using a landscape approach.

    PubMed

    Huntington, Brittany E; Karnauskas, Mandy; Babcock, Elizabeth A; Lirman, Diego

    2010-01-01

    Distinguishing management effects from the inherent variability in a system is a key consideration in assessing reserve efficacy. Here, we demonstrate how seascape heterogeneity, defined as the spatial configuration and composition of coral reef habitats, can mask our ability to discern reserve effects. We then test the application of a landscape approach, utilizing advances in benthic habitat mapping and GIS techniques, to quantify this heterogeneity and alleviate the confounding influence during reserve assessment. Seascape metrics were quantified at multiple spatial scales using a combination of spatial image analysis and in situ surveys at 87 patch reef sites in Glover's Reef Lagoon, Belize, within and outside a marine reserve enforced since 1998. Patch reef sites were then clustered into classes sharing similar seascape attributes using metrics that correlated significantly to observed variations in both fish and coral communities. When the efficacy of the marine reserve was assessed without including landscape attributes, no reserve effects were detected in the diversity and abundance of fish and coral communities, despite 10 years of management protection. However, grouping sites based on landscape attributes revealed significant reserve effects between site classes. Fish had higher total biomass (1.5x) and commercially important biomass (1.75x) inside the reserve and coral cover was 1.8 times greater inside the reserve, though direction and degree of response varied by seascape class. Our findings show that the application of a landscape classification approach vastly improves our ability to evaluate the efficacy of marine reserves by controlling for confounding effects of seascape heterogeneity and suggests that landscape heterogeneity should be considered in future reserve design. PMID:20808833

  11. Economic optimization of natural hazard protection - conceptual study of existing approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spackova, Olga; Straub, Daniel

    2013-04-01

    Risk-based planning of protection measures against natural hazards has become a common practice in many countries. The selection procedure aims at identifying an economically efficient strategy with regard to the estimated costs and risk (i.e. expected damage). A correct setting of the evaluation methodology and decision criteria should ensure an optimal selection of the portfolio of risk protection measures under a limited state budget. To demonstrate the efficiency of investments, indicators such as Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR), Marginal Costs (MC) or Net Present Value (NPV) are commonly used. However, the methodologies for efficiency evaluation differ amongst different countries and different hazard types (floods, earthquakes etc.). Additionally, several inconsistencies can be found in the applications of the indicators in practice. This is likely to lead to a suboptimal selection of the protection strategies. This study provides a general formulation for optimization of the natural hazard protection measures from a socio-economic perspective. It assumes that all costs and risks can be expressed in monetary values. The study regards the problem as a discrete hierarchical optimization, where the state level sets the criteria and constraints, while the actual optimization is made on the regional level (towns, catchments) when designing particular protection measures and selecting the optimal protection level. The study shows that in case of an unlimited budget, the task is quite trivial, as it is sufficient to optimize the protection measures in individual regions independently (by minimizing the sum of risk and cost). However, if the budget is limited, the need for an optimal allocation of resources amongst the regions arises. To ensure this, minimum values of BCR or MC can be required by the state, which must be achieved in each region. The study investigates the meaning of these indicators in the optimization task at the conceptual level and compares their

  12. Building Background Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neuman, Susan B.; Kaefer, Tanya; Pinkham, Ashley

    2014-01-01

    This article make a case for the importance of background knowledge in children's comprehension. It suggests that differences in background knowledge may account for differences in understanding text for low- and middle-income children. It then describes strategies for building background knowledge in the age of common core standards.

  13. Statistical approaches to paternity analysis in natural populations and applications to the North Atlantic humpback whale.

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, R; Mattila, D K; Clapham, P J; Palsbøll, P J

    2001-01-01

    We present a new method for paternity analysis in natural populations that is based on genotypic data that can take the sampling fraction of putative parents into account. The method allows paternity assignment to be performed in a decision theoretic framework. Simulations are performed to evaluate the utility and robustness of the method and to assess how many loci are necessary for reliable paternity inference. In addition we present a method for testing hypotheses regarding relative reproductive success of different ecologically or behaviorally defined groups as well as a new method for estimating the current population size of males from genotypic data. This method is an extension of the fractional paternity method to the case where only a proportion of all putative fathers have been sampled. It can also be applied to provide abundance estimates of the number of breeding males from genetic data. Throughout, the methods were applied to genotypic data collected from North Atlantic humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to test if the males that appear dominant during the mating season have a higher reproductive success than the subdominant males. PMID:11290722

  14. An approach to biomimetics: the natural CAD/CAM restoration: a clinical report.

    PubMed

    Schlichting, Luís Henrique; Schlichting, Kathryn Klemz; Stanley, Kyle; Magne, Michel; Magne, Pascal

    2014-02-01

    Those in the dental field have always pursued the perfect dental material for the treatment of compromised teeth. Gold, amalgam, composite resin, glass ionomer, and porcelain have been used. Tooth-like restorative materials (composite resin and porcelain) combined with an effective hard tissue bond have met the growing demand for esthetic or metal-free restorations in the past 15 to 20 years. However, none of those materials can fully mimic the unique properties of dentin (compliance and crack-stopping behavior) and enamel (wear resistance, function). The aim of this article is to report the restoration of an extensively damaged tooth with a natural restoration obtained by milling an extracted third molar tooth with a computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) system. The main benefit of this novel technique is the replacement of lost tissues by actual enamel and dentin, with the potential to recover mechanical, esthetic, and biologic properties. The indication for extracting third molars and premolars because of impaction or for orthodontic reasons makes these posterior teeth readily available. The innovation of the method presented here is the optimal use of the extracted tooth substrate thanks to its positioning technique in the CAD/CAM milling chamber. PMID:24355511

  15. A simple unified approach for estimating natural direct and indirect effects.

    PubMed

    Lange, Theis; Vansteelandt, Stijn; Bekaert, Maarten

    2012-08-01

    An important problem within both epidemiology and many social sciences is to break down the effect of a given treatment into different causal pathways and to quantify the importance of each pathway. Formal mediation analysis based on counterfactuals is a key tool when addressing this problem. During the last decade, the theoretical framework for mediation analysis has been greatly extended to enable the use of arbitrary statistical models for outcome and mediator. However, the researcher attempting to use these techniques in practice will often find implementation a daunting task, as it tends to require special statistical programming. In this paper, the authors introduce a simple procedure based on marginal structural models that directly parameterize the natural direct and indirect effects of interest. It tends to produce more parsimonious results than current techniques, greatly simplifies testing for the presence of a direct or an indirect effect, and has the advantage that it can be conducted in standard software. However, its simplicity comes at the price of relying on correct specification of models for the distribution of mediator (and exposure) and accepting some loss of precision compared with more complex methods. Web Appendixes 1 and 2, which are posted on the Journal's Web site (http://aje.oupjournals.org/), contain implementation examples in SAS software (SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, North Carolina) and R language (R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria). PMID:22781427

  16. A simple approach for morphology tailoring of alginate particles by manipulation ionic nature of polyurethanes.

    PubMed

    Daemi, Hamed; Barikani, Mehdi; Barmar, Mohammad

    2014-05-01

    A number of different ionic aqueous polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) were synthesized based on NCO-terminated prepolymers. Two different anionic and cationic polyurethane samples were synthesized using dimethylol propionic acid and N-methyldiethanolamine emulsifiers, respectively. Then, proper amounts of PUDs and sodium alginate were mixed to obtain a number of aqueous polyurethane dispersions-sodium alginate (PUD/SA) elastomers. The chemical structure, thermal, morphological, thermo-mechanical and mechanical properties, and hydrophilicity content of the prepared samples were studied by FTIR, EDX, DSC, TGA, SEM, DMTA, tensile testing and contact angle techniques. The cationic polyurethanes and their blends with sodium alginate showed excellent miscibility and highly stretchable properties, while the samples containing anionic polyurethanes and alginate illustrated a poor compatibility and no significant miscibility. The morphology of alginate particles shifted from nanoparticles to microparticles by changing the nature of PUDs from cationic to anionic types. The final cationic elastomers not only showed better mechanical properties but also were formulated easier than anionic samples. PMID:24560945

  17. A multibiomarker approach in Coris julis living in a natural environment.

    PubMed

    Fasulo, Salvatore; Marino, Sergio; Mauceri, Angela; Maisano, Maria; Giannetto, Alessia; D'Agata, Alessia; Parrino, Vincenzo; Minutoli, Roberta; De Domenico, Elena

    2010-10-01

    To monitor the health of aquatic organisms, biomarkers have been used as effective tools in assessing environmental risk. In this study was examined the teleost Coris julis, sampled in two marine sites in Messina (Italy) at different pollution degree, Milazzo, characterized by a strong anthropogenic impact, and Marinello, the natural reserve. C. julis is a species particularly suitable to biomonitoring because its feeding habits favor bio-accumulation of xenobiotics. The following biomarkers were used to estimate the impact of highly persistent pollutants: cellular localization of cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) in the liver, their hepatic expression at the mRNA level, the enzymatic activity (EROD and BPMO), the micronucleus and comet assays in the blood, esterases (AChE in the brain and BChE in the blood) activity and evaluation of PAH metabolites in the bile. The present findings provide evidence of statistically significant differences in parameters between individuals collected in two sites. PMID:20132985

  18. Hydro-geomorphic approaches to designing nature-based flood and drought management schemes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hetherington, David; Large, Andy; Quinn, Paul

    2016-04-01

    The need for nature-based solutions to runoff management is more pressing than ever. If it is possible to calculate how much water needs to be managed and where the opportunities are in the landscape, then it would be a significant step forward in water resources management. Here we will show how basic hydro-geomorphic indices can guide a catchment manager in identifying the types of intervention that are appropriate at different scales. Using runoff management zones can provide key ecosystems services that make the whole catchment system function better. The key indicators are: a) The Topographic Wetness Index, for use in small catchment and on hillslopes for identifying overland flow pathways that can be managed to store and disconnect fast runoff; b) Strahler stream order to show which small channels can be directly managed to slow, store and filter flow and c) Geomorphic Indices that estimate the floodplain extent, related to stream order, where flood storage zones could be created to hold back large amounts of water. Estimating how much flood water and sediment can be managed by the addition of runoff attenuation features in a landscape could be very important to policy makers. If enough water can be stored in small, medium and extreme events, then the more severe issues of floods, pollution and drought could potentially be addressed, obviating calls for ever bigger and more complex flood protection schemes.

  19. Molecular interaction of human brain acetylcholinesterase with a natural inhibitor huperzine-B: an enzoinformatics approach.

    PubMed

    Alam, Aftab; Shaikh, Sibhghatulla; Ahmad, Syed S; Ansari, Mohammad A; Shakil, Shahnawaz; Rizvi, Syed M D; Shakil, Shazi; Imran, Mohammad; Haneef, Mohammad; Abuzenadah, Adel M; Kamal, Mohammad A

    2014-04-01

    The present study emphasizes the molecular interactions between human brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and the natural ligand Huperzine-B and its comparison to 'AChE-Tolserine interactions'. Docking between Huperzine-B and AChE was performed using 'Autodock4.2'. Hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonds both play an equally important role in the correct positioning of Huperzine-B within the 'catalytic site' of AChE to permit docking. However, docking of Tolserine to AChE is largely dominated by hydrophobic interactions. Such information may aid in the design of versatile AChE-inhibitors, and is expected to aid in safe clinical use of Huperzine-B. Scope still remains in the determination of the three-dimensional structure of AChE-Huperzine-B complex by X-ray crystallography to validate the described data. Furthermore, this study confirms that Huperzine-B is a more efficient inhibitor of human brain AChE compared to tolserine with reference to Ki and ΔG values. PMID:24059299

  20. Modeling the evolution of natural cliffs subject to weathering: 1. Limit analysis approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Utili, S.; Crosta, G. B.

    2011-03-01

    Retrogressive landsliding evolution of natural slopes subjected to weathering has been modeled by assuming Mohr-Coulomb material behavior and by using an analytical method. The case of weathering-limited slope conditions, with complete erosion of the accumulated debris, has been modeled. The limit analysis upper-bound method is used to study slope instability induced by a homogeneous decrease of material strength in space and time. The only assumption required in the model concerns the degree of weathering within the slope, and for this we assumed and tested different weathering laws. By means of this method, the evolution of cliffs subject to strong weathering conditions (weathering-limited conditions) was predicted. The discrete succession of failures taking place was modeled taking into account the geometry assumed by slopes as a consequence of previous mass movements. The results have been compared with published data from long-term slope monitoring and show a good match between experimental observations and analytical predictions. The retrogressive evolution of the slope occurs with decreasing size of the unstable blocks, following a logarithmic volume-frequency relationship. A nonlinear relationship is found between mass flux and average slope gradient. A set of normalized solutions is presented both by nomograms and tables for different values of slope angle, cohesion, and internal friction angle.

  1. α-glucosidase inhibitors from plants: A natural approach to treat diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Sunil; Narwal, Smita; Kumar, Vipin; Prakash, Om

    2011-01-01

    Diabetes is a common metabolic disease characterized by abnormally high plasma glucose levels, leading to major complications, such as diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy, and cardiovascular diseases. One of the effective managements of diabetes mellitus, in particular, non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) to decrease postprandial hyperglycemia, is to retard the absorption of glucose by inhibition of carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes, such as α-glucosidase and α-amylase, in the digestive organs. α-Glucosidase is the key enzyme catalyzing the final step in the digestive process of carbohydrates. Hence, α-glucosidase inhibitors can retard the liberation of d-glucose from dietary complex carbohydrates and delay glucose absorption, resulting in reduced postprandial plasma glucose levels and suppression of postprandial hyperglycemia. In recent years, many efforts have been made to identify effective α-glucosidase inhibitors from natural sources in order to develop a physiologic functional food or lead compounds for use against diabetes. Many α-glucosidase inhibitors that are phytoconstituents, such as flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids,anthocyanins, glycosides, phenolic compounds, and so on, have been isolated from plants. In the present review, we focus on the constituents isolated from different plants having α-glucosidase inhibitory potency along with IC50 values. PMID:22096315

  2. Incremental lines in root cementum of human teeth: an approach to their ultrastructural nature by microscopy.

    PubMed

    Renz, H; Schaefer, V; Duschner, H; Radlanski, R J

    1997-11-01

    In ground sections of human teeth, root cementum shows under the light microscope as alternating, almost concentric, dark and light rings. In paleontology and forensic medicine, the number of these incremental lines or annulations is used to derive the age-at-death of the individual. To find the ultrastructural features underlying these cemental annulations, we used bright-field light microscopy (LM), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and electron-dispersive x-radiation (EDX) in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Annulations visible in ground sections of about 100-micron thickness were no longer visible in semi-thin sections (thickness, 1-2 microns) of the same specimen in the same area. The assumption that annulations could be caused by super-imposing structures in the depth of field of the light microscope's objective lens was not verified by CLSM. Fiber bundles of higher density than the surrounding matrix in TEM micrographs could not be connected unambiguously with annulations in LM micrographs. After all, the ultrastructural nature of cemental annulations remains an open question. PMID:9470507

  3. Natural orbitals renormalization group approach to the two-impurity Kondo critical point

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Rong-Qiang; Dai, Jianhui; Lu, Zhong-Yi

    2015-04-01

    The problem of two magnetic impurities in a normal metal exposes the two opposite tendencies in the formation of a singlet ground state, driven respectively by the single-ion Kondo effect with conduction electrons to screen impurity spins or the Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida interaction between the two impurities to directly form impurity spin singlet. However, whether the competition between these two tendencies can lead to a quantum critical point has been debated over more than two decades. Here, we study this problem by applying the newly proposed natural orbitals renormalization group method to a lattice version of the two-impurity Kondo model with a direct exchange K between the two impurity spins. The method allows for unbiased access to the ground state wave functions and low-lying excitations for sufficiently large system sizes. We demonstrate the existence of a quantum critical point, characterized by the power-law divergence of impurity staggered susceptibility with critical exponent γ =0.60 (1 ) , on the antiferromagnetic side of K when the interimpurity distance R is even lattice spacing, while a crossover behavior is recovered when R is odd lattice spacing. These results have ultimately resolved the long-standing discrepancy between the numerical renormalization group and quantum Monte Carlo studies, confirming a link of this two-impurity Kondo critical point to a hidden particle-hole symmetry predicted by the local Fermi liquid theory.

  4. Bacillus aryabhattai BA03: a novel approach to the production of natural value-added compounds.

    PubMed

    Paz, Alicia; Carballo, Julia; Pérez, María José; Domínguez, José Manuel

    2016-10-01

    A strain designated as BA03, with the ability to transform ferulic acid into vanillin and 4-vinylguaiacol, was isolated from contaminated cryovials. The production of natural value-added compounds was dependent on the media employed. The morphological and physiological characteristics of this strain were compared with those of the typical vanillin-producer strain Amycolatopsis sp. ATCC 39116. According to a partial 16S rRNA sequence, we determined that BA03 belonged to Bacillus aryabhattai. In addition, analysis of the results showed that this strain exhibited interesting enzymatic activity, including cellulases, laccases, lipases and pectinases. In light of this, we propose new functions for this multitasking microorganism. We suggest that it may be used for converting lignocellulosic wastes into byproducts with industrial uses, and also for treating disposal residues such as dyes in the textile industry. Hence, the possibility for novel research with B. aryabhattai opens up in the fields of biodegradation and/or revalorization of wastes. PMID:27562593

  5. Thermodynamic approach to oxygen delivery in vivo by natural and artificial oxygen carriers.

    PubMed

    Bucci, Enrico

    2009-06-01

    Oxygen is a toxic gas, still indispensable to aerobic life. This paper explores how normal physiology uses the physico-chemical and thermodynamic characteristics of oxygen for transforming a toxic gas into a non toxic indispensable metabolite. Plasma oxygen concentration is in the range of 10(-5) M, insufficient to sustain metabolism. Oxygen carriers, present in blood, release oxygen into plasma, thereby replacing consumed oxygen and buffering PO(2) near their P(50). They are the natural cell-bound carriers, like hemoglobin inside red cells, myoglobin inside myocytes, and artificial cell-free hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOC) dissolved in plasma. Metabolic oxygen replacement can be defined as cell-bound and cell-free delivery. Cell-bound delivery is retarded by the slow diffusion of oxygen in plasma and interstitial fluids. The 40% hematocrit of normal blood compensates for the delay, coping with the fast oxygen consumption by mitochondria. Facilitated oxygen diffusion by HBOCs corrects for the slow diffusion, making cell-free delivery relatively independent from P(50). At all oxygen affinities, HBOCs produce hyperoxygenations that are compensated by vasoconstrictions. There is a strict direct correlation between the rate of oxygen replacement and hemoglobin content of blood. The free energy loss of the gradient adds a relevant regulation of tissues oxygenation. Oxygen is retained intravascularly by the limited permeability to gases of vessel walls. PMID:19349106

  6. Interaction of Glucagon G-Protein Coupled Receptor with Known Natural Antidiabetic Compounds: Multiscoring In Silico Approach

    PubMed Central

    Baig, M. H.; Ahmad, K.; Hasan, Q.; Khan, M. K. A.; Rao, N. S.; Kamal, M. A.; Choi, I.

    2015-01-01

    Glucagon receptor (GCGR) is a secretin-like (class B) family of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) in humans that plays an important role in elevating the glucose concentration in blood and has thus become one of the promising therapeutic targets for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. GCGR based inhibitors for the treatment of type 2 diabetes are either glucagon neutralizers or small molecular antagonists. Management of diabetes without any side effects is still a challenge to the medical system, and the search for a new and effective natural GCGR antagonist is an important area for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In the present study, a number of natural compounds containing antidiabetic properties were selected from the literature and their binding potential against GCGR was determined using molecular docking and other in silico approaches. Among all selected natural compounds, curcumin was found to be the most effective compound against GCGR followed by amorfrutin 1 and 4-hydroxyderricin. These compounds were rescored to confirm the accuracy of binding using another scoring function (x-score). The final conclusions were drawn based on the results obtained from the GOLD and x-score. Further experiments were conducted to identify the atomic level interactions of selected compounds with GCGR. PMID:26236379

  7. Confusing Placebo Effect with Natural History in Epilepsy: A Big Data Approach

    PubMed Central

    Goldenholz, Daniel M.; Moss, Robert; Scott, Jonathan; Auh, Sungyoung; Theodore, William H.

    2015-01-01

    For unknown reasons, placebos reduce seizures in clinical trials in many patients. It is also unclear why some drugs showing statistical superiority to placebo in one trial may fail to do so in another. Using Seizuretracker.com, a patient-centered database of 684,825 seizures, we simulated “placebo” and “drug” trials. These simulations were employed to clarify the sources of placebo effects in epilepsy, and to identify methods of diminishing placebo effects. Simulation 1 included 9 trials with a 6-week baseline and 6-week test period, starting at time 0, 3, 6…24 months. Here, “placebo” reduced seizures regardless of study start time. Regression-to-the-mean persisted only for 3–6 months. Simulation 2 comprised a 6-week baseline and then 2 years of follow-up. Seizure-frequencies continued to improve throughout follow-up. Although the group improved, individuals switched from improvement to worsening and back. Simulation 3 involved a placebo-controlled “drug” trial, to explore methods of placebo-response reduction. An efficacious “drug” failed to demonstrate a significant effect compared with “placebo” (p=0.12), though modifications either in study start-time (p=0.025) or baseline population reduction (p=0.0028) allowed the drug to achieve a statistically significant effect compared with placebo. In epilepsy clinical trials, some seizure reduction traditionally attributed to placebo effect may reflect the natural course of the disease itself. Understanding these dynamics will allow future investigations into optimal clinical trial design and may lead to identification of more effective therapies. PMID:26150090

  8. Approaches to Climate Literacy at the American Museum of Natural History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steiner, R. V.

    2015-12-01

    The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) offers a suite of courses, workshops and special events in climate change education for audiences ranging from young children to adults and utilizing both online and in-person formats. These offerings are supported by rich digital resources including video, animations and data visualizations. These efforts have the potential to raise awareness of climate change, deepen understandings and improve public discourse and decision-making on this critical issue. For adult audiences, Our Earth's Future offers participants a five-week course at AMNH that focuses on climate change science, impacts and communication, taking advantage of both AMNH expertise and exhibitry. Online versions of this course include both a ten-week course as well as three different three-week thematic courses. (The longer course is now available as a MOOC in Coursera.) These activities have been supported by a grant from IMLS. The results of independent evaluation provide insight into participant needs and how they might be addressed. For K-12 educators, the Museum's Seminars on Science program of online teacher professional development offers, in collaboration with its higher education partners, a graduate course in climate change that is authored by both an AMNH curator and leading NASA scientists. Developed with support from both NASA and NSF, the course provides a semester-equivalent introduction to climate change science for educators, including digital resources, assignments and discussions for classroom use. The results of independent evaluation will be presented. For younger audiences, the presentation will highlight resources from the AMNH Ology site; television programming conducted in partnership with HBO; Science Bulletinsvideos that include current climate change research; resources related to the GRACE mission for tracking water from space; and special event programming at the Museum on climate change. This presentation will address the

  9. The nature and dynamics of world religions: a life-history approach

    PubMed Central

    Baumard, Nicolas; Chevallier, Coralie

    2015-01-01

    In contrast with tribal and archaic religions, world religions are characterized by a unique emphasis on extended prosociality, restricted sociosexuality, delayed gratification and the belief that these specific behaviours are sanctioned by some kind of supernatural justice. Here, we draw on recent advances in life history theory to explain this pattern of seemingly unrelated features. Life history theory examines how organisms adaptively allocate resources in the face of trade-offs between different life-goals (e.g. growth versus reproduction, exploitation versus exploration). In particular, recent studies have shown that individuals, including humans, adjust their life strategy to the environment through phenotypic plasticity: in a harsh environment, organisms tend to adopt a ‘fast' strategy, pursuing smaller but more certain benefits, while in more affluent environments, organisms tend to develop a ‘slow' strategy, aiming for larger but less certain benefits. Reviewing a range of recent research, we show that world religions are associated with a form of ‘slow' strategy. This framework explains both the promotion of ‘slow' behaviours such as altruism, self-regulation and monogamy in modern world religions, and the condemnation of ‘fast' behaviours such as selfishness, conspicuous sexuality and materialism. This ecological approach also explains the diffusion pattern of world religions: why they emerged late in human history (500–300 BCE), why they are currently in decline in the most affluent societies and why they persist in some places despite this overall decline. PMID:26511055

  10. Neurolinguistic approach to natural language processing with applications to medical text analysis.

    PubMed

    Duch, Włodzisław; Matykiewicz, Paweł; Pestian, John

    2008-12-01

    Understanding written or spoken language presumably involves spreading neural activation in the brain. This process may be approximated by spreading activation in semantic networks, providing enhanced representations that involve concepts not found directly in the text. The approximation of this process is of great practical and theoretical interest. Although activations of neural circuits involved in representation of words rapidly change in time snapshots of these activations spreading through associative networks may be captured in a vector model. Concepts of similar type activate larger clusters of neurons, priming areas in the left and right hemisphere. Analysis of recent brain imaging experiments shows the importance of the right hemisphere non-verbal clusterization. Medical ontologies enable development of a large-scale practical algorithm to re-create pathways of spreading neural activations. First concepts of specific semantic type are identified in the text, and then all related concepts of the same type are added to the text, providing expanded representations. To avoid rapid growth of the extended feature space after each step only the most useful features that increase document clusterization are retained. Short hospital discharge summaries are used to illustrate how this process works on a real, very noisy data. Expanded texts show significantly improved clustering and may be classified with much higher accuracy. Although better approximations to the spreading of neural activations may be devised a practical approach presented in this paper helps to discover pathways used by the brain to process specific concepts, and may be used in large-scale applications. PMID:18614334

  11. Temperature and pressure tuneable swollen bicontinuous cubic phases approaching nature's length scales.

    PubMed

    Barriga, H M G; Tyler, A I I; McCarthy, N L C; Parsons, E S; Ces, O; Law, R V; Seddon, J M; Brooks, N J

    2015-01-21

    Bicontinuous cubic structures offer enormous potential in applications ranging from protein crystallisation to drug delivery systems and have been observed in cellular membrane structures. One of the current bottlenecks in understanding and exploiting these structures is that cubic scaffolds produced in vitro are considerably smaller in size than those observed in biological systems, differing by almost an order of magnitude in some cases. We have addressed this technological bottleneck and developed a methodology capable of manufacturing highly swollen bicontinuous cubic membranes with length scales approaching those seen in vivo. Crucially, these cubic systems do not require the presence of proteins. We have generated highly swollen Im3m symmetry bicontinuous cubic phases with lattice parameters of up to 480 Å, composed of ternary mixtures of monoolein, cholesterol and negatively charged lipid (DOPS or DOPG) and we have been able to tune their lattice parameters. The swollen cubic phases are highly sensitive to both temperature and pressure; these structural changes are likely to be controlled by a fine balance between lipid headgroup repulsions and lateral pressure in the hydrocarbon chain region. PMID:25430049

  12. The nature and dynamics of world religions: a life-history approach.

    PubMed

    Baumard, Nicolas; Chevallier, Coralie

    2015-11-01

    In contrast with tribal and archaic religions, world religions are characterized by a unique emphasis on extended prosociality, restricted sociosexuality, delayed gratification and the belief that these specific behaviours are sanctioned by some kind of supernatural justice. Here, we draw on recent advances in life history theory to explain this pattern of seemingly unrelated features. Life history theory examines how organisms adaptively allocate resources in the face of trade-offs between different life-goals (e.g. growth versus reproduction, exploitation versus exploration). In particular, recent studies have shown that individuals, including humans, adjust their life strategy to the environment through phenotypic plasticity: in a harsh environment, organisms tend to adopt a 'fast' strategy, pursuing smaller but more certain benefits, while in more affluent environments, organisms tend to develop a 'slow' strategy, aiming for larger but less certain benefits. Reviewing a range of recent research, we show that world religions are associated with a form of 'slow' strategy. This framework explains both the promotion of 'slow' behaviours such as altruism, self-regulation and monogamy in modern world religions, and the condemnation of 'fast' behaviours such as selfishness, conspicuous sexuality and materialism. This ecological approach also explains the diffusion pattern of world religions: why they emerged late in human history (500-300 BCE), why they are currently in decline in the most affluent societies and why they persist in some places despite this overall decline. PMID:26511055

  13. Systems biology approach to developing S(2)RM-based "systems therapeutics" and naturally induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Maguire, Greg; Friedman, Peter

    2015-05-26

    The degree to, and the mechanisms through, which stem cells are able to build, maintain, and heal the body have only recently begun to be understood. Much of the stem cell's power resides in the release of a multitude of molecules, called stem cell released molecules (SRM). A fundamentally new type of therapeutic, namely "systems therapeutic", can be realized by reverse engineering the mechanisms of the SRM processes. Recent data demonstrates that the composition of the SRM is different for each type of stem cell, as well as for different states of each cell type. Although systems biology has been successfully used to analyze multiple pathways, the approach is often used to develop a small molecule interacting at only one pathway in the system. A new model is emerging in biology where systems biology is used to develop a new technology acting at multiple pathways called "systems therapeutics". A natural set of healing pathways in the human that uses SRM is instructive and of practical use in developing systems therapeutics. Endogenous SRM processes in the human body use a combination of SRM from two or more stem cell types, designated as S(2)RM, doing so under various state dependent conditions for each cell type. Here we describe our approach in using state-dependent SRM from two or more stem cell types, S(2)RM technology, to develop a new class of therapeutics called "systems therapeutics." Given the ubiquitous and powerful nature of innate S(2)RM-based healing in the human body, this "systems therapeutic" approach using S(2)RM technology will be important for the development of anti-cancer therapeutics, antimicrobials, wound care products and procedures, and a number of other therapeutics for many indications. PMID:26029345

  14. Systems biology approach to developing S2RM-based “systems therapeutics” and naturally induced pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Maguire, Greg; Friedman, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The degree to, and the mechanisms through, which stem cells are able to build, maintain, and heal the body have only recently begun to be understood. Much of the stem cell’s power resides in the release of a multitude of molecules, called stem cell released molecules (SRM). A fundamentally new type of therapeutic, namely “systems therapeutic”, can be realized by reverse engineering the mechanisms of the SRM processes. Recent data demonstrates that the composition of the SRM is different for each type of stem cell, as well as for different states of each cell type. Although systems biology has been successfully used to analyze multiple pathways, the approach is often used to develop a small molecule interacting at only one pathway in the system. A new model is emerging in biology where systems biology is used to develop a new technology acting at multiple pathways called “systems therapeutics”. A natural set of healing pathways in the human that uses SRM is instructive and of practical use in developing systems therapeutics. Endogenous SRM processes in the human body use a combination of SRM from two or more stem cell types, designated as S2RM, doing so under various state dependent conditions for each cell type. Here we describe our approach in using state-dependent SRM from two or more stem cell types, S2RM technology, to develop a new class of therapeutics called “systems therapeutics.” Given the ubiquitous and powerful nature of innate S2RM-based healing in the human body, this “systems therapeutic” approach using S2RM technology will be important for the development of anti-cancer therapeutics, antimicrobials, wound care products and procedures, and a number of other therapeutics for many indications. PMID:26029345

  15. Neurolinguistic Approach to Natural Language Processing with Applications to Medical Text Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Matykiewicz, Paweł; Pestian, John

    2008-01-01

    Understanding written or spoken language presumably involves spreading neural activation in the brain. This process may be approximated by spreading activation in semantic networks, providing enhanced representations that involve concepts that are not found directly in the text. Approximation of this process is of great practical and theoretical interest. Although activations of neural circuits involved in representation of words rapidly change in time snapshots of these activations spreading through associative networks may be captured in a vector model. Concepts of similar type activate larger clusters of neurons, priming areas in the left and right hemisphere. Analysis of recent brain imaging experiments shows the importance of the right hemisphere non-verbal clusterization. Medical ontologies enable development of a large-scale practical algorithm to re-create pathways of spreading neural activations. First concepts of specific semantic type are identified in the text, and then all related concepts of the same type are added to the text, providing expanded representations. To avoid rapid growth of the extended feature space after each step only the most useful features that increase document clusterization are retained. Short hospital discharge summaries are used to illustrate how this process works on a real, very noisy data. Expanded texts show significantly improved clustering and may be classified with much higher accuracy. Although better approximations to the spreading of neural activations may be devised a practical approach presented in this paper helps to discover pathways used by the brain to process specific concepts, and may be used in large-scale applications. PMID:18614334

  16. Map Your Hazards! - an Interdisciplinary, Place-Based Educational Approach to Assessing Natural Hazards, Social Vulnerability, Risk and Risk Perception.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brand, B. D.; McMullin-Messier, P. A.; Schlegel, M. E.

    2014-12-01

    'Map your Hazards' is an educational module developed within the NSF Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future program (InTeGrate). The module engages students in place-based explorations of natural hazards, social vulnerability, and the perception of natural hazards and risk. Students integrate geoscience and social science methodologies to (1) identify and assess hazards, vulnerability and risk within their communities; (2) distribute, collect and evaluate survey data (designed by authors) on the knowledge, risk perception and preparedness within their social networks; and (3) deliver a PPT presentation to local stakeholders detailing their findings and recommendations for development of a prepared, resilient community. 'Map your Hazards' underwent four rigorous assessments by a team of geoscience educators and external review before being piloted in our classrooms. The module was piloted in a 300-level 'Volcanoes and Society' course at Boise State University, a 300-level 'Environmental Sociology' course at Central Washington University, and a 100-level 'Natural Disasters and Environmental Geology' course at the College of Western Idaho. In all courses students reported a fascination with learning about the hazards around them and identifying the high risk areas in their communities. They were also surprised at the low level of knowledge, inaccurate risk perception and lack of preparedness of their social networks. This successful approach to engaging students in an interdisciplinary, place-based learning environment also has the broad implications of raising awareness of natural hazards (survey participants are provided links to local hazard and preparedness information). The data and preparedness suggestions can be shared with local emergency managers, who are encouraged to attend the student's final presentations. All module materials are published at serc.carleton.edu/integrate/ and are appropriate to a wide range of classrooms.

  17. Biochemometrics for Natural Products Research: Comparison of Data Analysis Approaches and Application to Identification of Bioactive Compounds.

    PubMed

    Kellogg, Joshua J; Todd, Daniel A; Egan, Joseph M; Raja, Huzefa A; Oberlies, Nicholas H; Kvalheim, Olav M; Cech, Nadja B

    2016-02-26

    A central challenge of natural products research is assigning bioactive compounds from complex mixtures. The gold standard approach to address this challenge, bioassay-guided fractionation, is often biased toward abundant, rather than bioactive, mixture components. This study evaluated the combination of bioassay-guided fractionation with untargeted metabolite profiling to improve active component identification early in the fractionation process. Key to this methodology was statistical modeling of the integrated biological and chemical data sets (biochemometric analysis). Three data analysis approaches for biochemometric analysis were compared, namely, partial least-squares loading vectors, S-plots, and the selectivity ratio. Extracts from the endophytic fungi Alternaria sp. and Pyrenochaeta sp. with antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus served as test cases. Biochemometric analysis incorporating the selectivity ratio performed best in identifying bioactive ions from these extracts early in the fractionation process, yielding altersetin (3, MIC 0.23 μg/mL) and macrosphelide A (4, MIC 75 μg/mL) as antibacterial constituents from Alternaria sp. and Pyrenochaeta sp., respectively. This study demonstrates the potential of biochemometrics coupled with bioassay-guided fractionation to identify bioactive mixture components. A benefit of this approach is the ability to integrate multiple stages of fractionation and bioassay data into a single analysis. PMID:26841051

  18. Discrimination between induced, triggered, and natural earthquakes close to hydrocarbon reservoirs: A probabilistic approach based on the modeling of depletion-induced stress changes and seismological source parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahm, Torsten; Cesca, Simone; Hainzl, Sebastian; Braun, Thomas; Krüger, Frank

    2015-04-01

    Earthquakes occurring close to hydrocarbon fields under production are often under critical view of being induced or triggered. However, clear and testable rules to discriminate the different events have rarely been developed and tested. The unresolved scientific problem may lead to lengthy public disputes with unpredictable impact on the local acceptance of the exploitation and field operations. We propose a quantitative approach to discriminate induced, triggered, and natural earthquakes, which is based on testable input parameters. Maxima of occurrence probabilities are compared for the cases under question, and a single probability of being triggered or induced is reported. The uncertainties of earthquake location and other input parameters are considered in terms of the integration over probability density functions. The probability that events have been human triggered/induced is derived from the modeling of Coulomb stress changes and a rate and state-dependent seismicity model. In our case a 3-D boundary element method has been adapted for the nuclei of strain approach to estimate the stress changes outside the reservoir, which are related to pore pressure changes in the field formation. The predicted rate of natural earthquakes is either derived from the background seismicity or, in case of rare events, from an estimate of the tectonic stress rate. Instrumentally derived seismological information on the event location, source mechanism, and the size of the rupture plane is of advantage for the method. If the rupture plane has been estimated, the discrimination between induced or only triggered events is theoretically possible if probability functions are convolved with a rupture fault filter. We apply the approach to three recent main shock events: (1) the Mw 4.3 Ekofisk 2001, North Sea, earthquake close to the Ekofisk oil field; (2) the Mw 4.4 Rotenburg 2004, Northern Germany, earthquake in the vicinity of the Söhlingen gas field; and (3) the Mw 6

  19. Perspectives for the information approach application to natural and artificial ecosystems investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lankin, Yuliy

    As a methodological matter, all modern conceptions of life development can be subdivided into the substrate (S), the energetic (E) and the informational (I). The S-conception is based on biochemical, genetic and morphological ideas. The E-conception deals with an idea of development of complicated open systems (COS) which are characterized by energy getting constantly from the outside, by improvement of substance cycles and as speeding-up and increasing of "power" of them as well, and by increasing of energy intensity transformation by the each structure of COS. The I-conception has been developing so far in the main within the frameworks of the traditional both cybernetic ideas and information theory that are convenient for many technical applications but are deficient for investigation of ecoand bio-systems. Situation was changed when the conception of adaptive systems (CAS) based on the ideas of ecology, biology and neurocybernetic (neuroinforamtic) had offered. As a consequence of this, the I-conception based on the CAS well accords with the S- and the E-conceptions and allows to hope to their combine into one the S + E + I conception that will include all virtues of the S-, the E-, and the I-conceptions and eliminate of their limitations. Thanks to relative easiness of hierarchic adaptive nonlinear models making using of the CAS, it is possible overcome effectively both of the problems as the "dimensionality problem" and the "loss of stability" as well for complicated models of ecosystems (CME). Optimization of energy and substance consumption process and adaptation of the CME to changes of current conditions are well realized in ranges given by goal function. A use adaptive networks (including neural nets) in frames of the CAS allows to realize any continuous function in control loops and at information processing. The considered features of the S + E + I proposed approach based on the CAS make it perspective for construction as biosphere models and

  20. A sequential extraction and hydrolysis approach to understand the chemical nature of soil water repellency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Jiefei; Dekker, Stefan C.; Nierop, Klaas G. J.

    2014-05-01

    -hydroxy fatty acids and α,ω-dicarboxylic acids. Aside from fatty acids and alcohols, the latter two compound groups were considered as the main groups of monomers released from suberins. Therefore, suberin-derived compounds were most abundant in the AI fractions suggesting that plant roots could be the main source of AI fractions. We will present some of the relations between fractions/compounds and SWR to show that this approach may be an effective tool to improve our understanding of SWR mechanisms. We present relations between fractions/compounds from SOM with SWR to determine SWR-biomarkers. By assessing the origin of these biomarkers, we are able to understand how SWR is formed and in which circumstances they are mainly from leaves or roots (i.e. cutin or suberin). References: Doerr, S.H., Shakesby, R.A., Walsh, R.P.D., 2000. Soil water repellency: its causes, characteristics and hydro- geomorphological significance. Earth-Sci. Rev. 51, 33-65. Nierop, K.G.J., 1998. Origin of aliphatic compounds in a forest soil. Organic Geochemistry 29, 1009-1016.

  1. The Cosmic Background Explorer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gulkis, Samuel; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Outlines the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) mission to measure celestial radiation. Describes the instruments used and experiments involving differential microwave radiometers, and a far infrared absolute spectrophotometer. (YP)

  2. A novel approach for determination of fundamental physical transport processes in natural channel design restoration sites with river steering structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, J.; Endreny, T. A.; Becker, J. F.; Kroll, C.

    2012-12-01

    River restoration projects in the United States are frequently proposed and constructed with the intention of improving water quality, yet relatively little evidence exists regarding the success of these efforts. Many projects use an approach known as natural channel design (NCD), and include river steering structures. Prior assessment of water quality improvements within NCD sites has involved hydrologic retention modeling using a non-reactive tracer, with the goal of separately identifying hyporheic and surface transient storage (STS). A comparative approach involving NCD and non-NCD sites used by the authors yielded mixed results: although physically-based assessments of STS profiles in many NCD sites support larger STS zones than non-NCD sites, these differences are not apparent when examining common transient storage metrics. Inverse modeling within nine NCD sites reveals additional obstacles, including generation of spurious lateral inflow/outflow values, limited detection of hyporheic processes due to strong surface transient storage, shear and Taylor dispersion, and divergent temporal patterns of solute flux over channel cross sections bounding structures. To overcome the obstacles encountered with 1D inverse modeling, data is presented from a new approach used in NCD reaches. This approach involves deriving a mass flux signature via pairing velocity and channel geometry with multiple electrical conductivity (EC) loggers deployed laterally at control cross sections (CCS). These CCS bound sub-reach segments (15 total across four NCD reaches) that include river steering structures and intermediate geomorphic features. Velocity and geometry measurements yield discharge values surrounding each EC logger which are used to weight a composite mass flux breakthrough curve above, within, and below each segment. Composite mass flux signatures reflect exchange processes that are not fully integrated laterally immediately below structures, and can be analyzed via

  3. Nature-inspired computing approach for solving non-linear singular Emden-Fowler problem arising in electromagnetic theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Junaid Ali; Zahoor Raja, Muhammad Asif; Rashidi, Mohammad Mehdi; Syam, Muhammad Ibrahim; Majid Wazwaz, Abdul

    2015-10-01

    In this research, the well-known non-linear Lane-Emden-Fowler (LEF) equations are approximated by developing a nature-inspired stochastic computational intelligence algorithm. A trial solution of the model is formulated as an artificial feed-forward neural network model containing unknown adjustable parameters. From the LEF equation and its initial conditions, an energy function is constructed that is used in the algorithm for the optimisation of the networks in an unsupervised way. The proposed scheme is tested successfully by applying it on various test cases of initial value problems of LEF equations. The reliability and effectiveness of the scheme are validated through comprehensive statistical analysis. The obtained numerical results are in a good agreement with their corresponding exact solutions, which confirms the enhancement made by the proposed approach.

  4. A portfolio approach to evaluating natural hazard mitigation policies: An Application to lateral-spread ground failure in Coastal California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bernknopf, R.L.; Dinitz, L.B.; Rabinovici, S.J.M.; Evans, A.M.

    2001-01-01

    In the past, efforts to prevent catastrophic losses from natural hazards have largely been undertaken by individual property owners based on site-specific evaluations of risks to particular buildings. Public efforts to assess community vulnerability and encourage mitigation have focused on either aggregating site-specific estimates or adopting standards based upon broad assumptions about regional risks. This paper develops an alternative, intermediate-scale approach to regional risk assessment and the evaluation of community mitigation policies. Properties are grouped into types with similar land uses and levels of hazard, and hypothetical community mitigation strategies for protecting these properties are modeled like investment portfolios. The portfolios consist of investments in mitigation against the risk to a community posed by a specific natural hazard, and are defined by a community's mitigation budget and the proportion of the budget invested in locations of each type. The usefulness of this approach is demonstrated through an integrated assessment of earthquake-induced lateral-spread ground failure risk in the Watsonville, California area. Data from the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 are used to model lateral-spread ground failure susceptibility. Earth science and economic data are combined and analyzed in a Geographic Information System (GIS). The portfolio model is then used to evaluate the benefits of mitigating the risk in different locations. Two mitigation policies, one that prioritizes mitigation by land use type and the other by hazard zone, are compared with a status quo policy of doing no further mitigation beyond that which already exists. The portfolio representing the hazard zone rule yields a higher expected return than the land use portfolio does: However, the hazard zone portfolio experiences a higher standard deviation. Therefore, neither portfolio is clearly preferred. The two mitigation policies both reduce expected losses

  5. Backgrounds in Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maxwell, John C.; Long, Barbara K.

    "Backgrounds in Language," a field-tested inservice course designed for use by groups of 15 or 25 language arts teachers, provides the subject matter background teachers need to make informed decisions about what curriculum materials to use in what way, at what time, and with which students. The course is comprised of eight 2-hour sessions,…

  6. A novel geotechnical/geostatistical approach for exploration and production of natural gas from multiple geologic strata, Phase 1

    SciTech Connect

    Overbey, W.K. Jr.; Reeves, T.K.; Salamy, S.P.; Locke, C.D.; Johnson, H.R.; Brunk, R.; Hawkins, L. )

    1991-05-01

    This research program has been designed to develop and verify a unique geostatistical approach for finding natural gas resources. The research has been conducted by Beckley College, Inc. (Beckley) and BDM Engineering Services Company (BDMESC) under contract to the US Department of Energy (DOE), Morgantown Energy Technology Center. Phase 1 of the project consisted of compiling and analyzing relevant geological and gas production information in selected areas of Raleigh County, West Virginia, ultimately narrowed to the Eccles, West Virginia, 7 {1/2} minute Quadrangle. The Phase 1 analysis identified key parameters contributing to the accumulation and production of natural gas in Raleigh County, developed analog models relating geological factors to gas production, and identified specific sites to test and verify the analysis methodologies by drilling. Based on the Phase 1 analysis, five sites have been identified with high potential for economic gas production. Phase 2 will consist of drilling, completing, and producing one or more wells at the sites identified in the Phase 1 analyses. The initial well is schedules to the drilled in April 1991. This report summarizes the results of the Phase 1 investigations. For clarity, the report has been prepared in two volumes. Volume 1 presents the Phase 1 overview; Volume 2 contains the detailed geological and production information collected and analyzed for this study.

  7. The impact of natural selection on health and disease: uses of the population genetics approach in humans.

    PubMed

    Vasseur, Estelle; Quintana-Murci, Lluis

    2013-06-01

    Investigations of the legacy of natural selection in the human genome have proved particularly informative, pinpointing functionally important regions that have participated in our genetic adaptation to the environment. Furthermore, genetic dissection of the intensity and type of selection acting on human genes can be used to predict involvement in different forms and severities of human diseases. We review here the progress made in population genetics studies toward understanding the effects of selection, in its different forms and intensities, on human genome diversity. We discuss some outstanding, robust examples of genes and biological functions subject to strong dietary, climatic and pathogen selection pressures. We also explore the possible relationship between cancer and natural selection, a topic that has been largely neglected because cancer is generally seen as a late-onset disease. Finally, we discuss how the present-day incidence of some diseases of modern societies may represent a by-product of past adaptation to other selective forces and changes in lifestyle. This perspective thus illustrates the value of adopting a population genetics approach in delineating the biological mechanisms that have played a major evolutionary role in the way humans have genetically adapted to different environments and lifestyles over time. PMID:23789027

  8. Insuring Resilience - Employing Approaches from the Re/insurance Sector to Encourage Sustainable Design & Operations against Natural Hazards.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, R.

    2014-12-01

    Over the last quarter of a century the re/insuance sector and its financial regulators have developed a suite of metrics that have guided made a significant contribution to the industry's resilience to natural disasters. In particular the introduction of annual stress tests to evaluate risks to portfolios at 1:200, 1:20 and annual average loss metrics has provided a prism through which to focus science, engineeering and analytical actcities and the supporting data environment. This approach has driven a deeper understanding of the relationship between hazard, exposure and vulnerability of the build enviornment and helped put a quantitative value on physical and operational resilience. In particular has been the recognition that while structures and operations may be distrupted and disabled during a natural disaster or extreme event the critical issue is how quickly and cheaply functions can be reinstated after the event has passed. This has highlighted the value of enabling structures and institutional processes to close down, or even 'break' in a pre-planned way when forces are exceeded to prevent excessive dislocation and allow capabilities to reinstated in an planned and effective manner. New advances in financial regulation are making this increasingly attractive

  9. The impact of natural selection on health and disease: uses of the population genetics approach in humans

    PubMed Central

    Vasseur, Estelle; Quintana-Murci, Lluis

    2013-01-01

    Investigations of the legacy of natural selection in the human genome have proved particularly informative, pinpointing functionally important regions that have participated in our genetic adaptation to the environment. Furthermore, genetic dissection of the intensity and type of selection acting on human genes can be used to predict involvement in different forms and severities of human diseases. We review here the progress made in population genetics studies toward understanding the effects of selection, in its different forms and intensities, on human genome diversity. We discuss some outstanding, robust examples of genes and biological functions subject to strong dietary, climatic and pathogen selection pressures. We also explore the possible relationship between cancer and natural selection, a topic that has been largely neglected because cancer is generally seen as a late-onset disease. Finally, we discuss how the present-day incidence of some diseases of modern societies may represent a by-product of past adaptation to other selective forces and changes in lifestyle. This perspective thus illustrates the value of adopting a population genetics approach in delineating the biological mechanisms that have played a major evolutionary role in the way humans have genetically adapted to different environments and lifestyles over time. PMID:23789027

  10. Correlators in nontrivial backgrounds

    SciTech Connect

    Mello Koch, Robert de; Ives, Norman; Stephanou, Michael

    2009-01-15

    Operators in N=4 super Yang-Mills theory with an R-charge of O(N{sup 2}) are dual to backgrounds which are asymtotically AdS{sub 5}xS{sup 5}. In this article we develop efficient techniques that allow the computation of correlation functions in these backgrounds. We find that (i) contractions between fields in the string words and fields in the operator creating the background are the field theory accounting of the new geometry, (ii) correlation functions of probes in these backgrounds are given by the free field theory contractions but with rescaled propagators and (iii) in these backgrounds there are no open string excitations with their special end point interactions; we have only closed string excitations.

  11. The Dramaturgy Approach to Education in Nature: Reflections of a Decade of International Vacation School Lipnice Courses, Czech Republic, 1997-2007

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    This paper provides an auto-ethnography or narrative of self related to the development of international experiential education programmes in nature developed by Vacation School Lipnice (VSL) in the Czech Republic. The paper provides the cultural background that influences the course design and provides examples, through participant observation,…

  12. Mediating the potent ROS toxicity of acrolein in neurons with silica nanoparticles and a natural product approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White-Schenk, Désirée.; Shi, Riyi; Leary, James F.

    2014-03-01

    Acrolein, a very reactive aldehyde, is a culprit in the biochemical cascade after primary, mechanical spinal cord injury (SCI), which leads to the destruction of tissue initially unharmed, referred to as "secondary injury". Additionally, in models of multiple sclerosis (MS) and some clinical research, acrolein levels are significantly increased. Due to its ability to make more copies of itself in the presence of tissue via lipid peroxidation, researchers believe that acrolein plays a role in the increased destruction of the central nervous system in both SCI and MS. Hydralazine, an FDAapproved hypotensive drug, has been shown to scavenge acrolein, but its side effects and short half life at the appropriate dose for acrolein scavenging must be improved for beneficial clinical translation. Therefore, a nanomedical approach has been designed using silica nanoparticles as a porous delivery vehicle hydralazine. The silica particles are formed in a one-step method that incorporates poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG), a stealth molecule, directly onto the nanoparticles. As an additional avenue for study, a natural product in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been explored for its ability to react with acrolein, disabling its reactive capabilities. Upon demonstration of attenuating acrolein, EGCG's delivery may also be improved using the nanomedical approach. The current work exposes the potential of using silica nanoparticles as a delivery vehicle and EGCG's antioxidant capabilities in B35 neuroblastoma cells exposed to acrolein. We also measure nanotoxicity to individual rat neurons using high-throughput image scanning cytometry.

  13. Hot Universe Background Explorer (HUBE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, R. C.; Murthy, J.; Ford, H.; Peacock, K.; Burrows, D. N.; Smith, B. W.; Bloch, J. J.

    1998-05-01

    The study of diffuse backgrounds has played an important role in the recent history of astronomy. From the microwave discovery of the 2.7 K background to the soft X-ray detection of coronal gas to the diffuse H2 emission from warm interstellar gas in our galaxy to the infrared mapping of wisps of dust at high galactic latitudes, diffuse background astronomy has provided fundamental insights into the nature of the universe. As the various regions of the electromagnetic spectrum have been explored, their diffuse backgrounds have been found to arise from the widest possible range of sources: from the local interstellar medium to the farthest reaches of the observable universe; from the wrinkled echo of the Big Bang to the million degree plasma between the stars. Most astronomers are ``point-source" astronomers, and the history of astronomy space missions is that few have been dedicated to the elucidation of the nature of the truly diffuse radiation. And yet a large fraction of the total electromagnetic energy in the universe occurs in the form of diffuse radiation. In some spectral ranges, we do not yet know the fraction of radiation that is diffuse; we are dealing with genuinely unexplored frontiers. We will describe the extraordinary science that can be obtained through a MIDEX mission that is dedicated to the exploration of the diffuse emission in the far ultraviolet and soft X-ray regions of the spectrum, where the diffuse radiation is dominated by emission from the hottest components of the interstellar medium and, perhaps, from the intergalactic medium. HUBE currently enjoys the status of being NASA's MIDEX Alternate Astrophysics Mission. We are re-proposing HUBE in the current MIDEX competition with a much broader scientific set of goals, aiming at a definitive spectroscopic survey of the diffuse background over a greatly-expanded spectral range. Our HUBE proposal effort is being supported by Ball Aerospace Corporation.

  14. The Effectiveness of the Conceptual Change Approach, Explicit Reflective Approach, and Course Book by the Ministry of Education on the Views of the Nature of Science and Conceptual Change in Light Unit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cil, Emine; Cepni, Salih

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of the conceptual change approach, explicit reflective approach, and the course book by the Ministry of Education on the views toward the nature of science and conceptual change in the Light unit. Three study groups were selected from several seventh grade classes. Two of the three classes,…

  15. Background Underground at WIPP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esch, Ernst-Ingo; Hime, A.; Bowles, T. J.

    2001-04-01

    Recent interest to establish a dedicated underground laboratory in the United States prompted an experimental program at to quantify the enviromental backgrounds underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico. An outline of this program is provided along with recent experimental data on the cosmic ray muon flux at the 650 meter level of WIPP. The implications of the cosmic ray muon and fast neutron background at WIPP will be discussed in the context of new generation, low background experiments envisioned in the future.

  16. The cosmic neutrino background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dar, Arnon

    1991-01-01

    The cosmic neutrino background is expected to consist of relic neutrinos from the big bang, of neutrinos produced during nuclear burning in stars, of neutrinos released by gravitational stellar collapse, and of neutrinos produced by cosmic ray interactions with matter and radiation in the interstellar and intergalactic medium. Formation of baryonic dark matter in the early universe, matter-antimatter annihilation in a baryonic symmetric universe, and dark matter annihilation could have also contributed significantly to the cosmic neutrino background. The purpose of this paper is to review the properties of these cosmic neutrino backgrounds, the indirect evidence for their existence, and the prospects for their detection.

  17. Adaptive background model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Xiaochun; Xiao, Yijun; Chai, Zhi; Wang, Bangping

    2007-11-01

    An adaptive background model aiming at outdoor vehicle detection is presented in this paper. This model is an improved model of PICA (pixel intensity classification algorithm), it classifies pixels into K-distributions by color similarity, and then a hypothesis that the background pixel color appears in image sequence with a high frequency is used to evaluate all the distributions to determine which presents the current background color. As experiments show, the model presented in this paper is a robust, adaptive and flexible model, which can deal with situations like camera motions, lighting changes and so on.

  18. Natural approaches to epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Gaby, Alan R

    2007-03-01

    This article reviews research on the use of diet, nutritional supplements, and hormones in the treatment of epilepsy. Potentially beneficial dietary interventions include identifying and treating blood glucose dysregulation, identifying and avoiding allergenic foods, and avoiding suspected triggering agents such as alcohol, aspartame, and monosodium glutamate. The ketogenic diet may be considered for severe, treatment-resistant cases. The Atkins diet (very low in carbohydrates) is a less restrictive type of ketogenic diet that may be effective in some cases. Nutrients that may reduce seizure frequency include vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese, taurine, dimethylglycine, and omega-3 fatty acids. Administration of thiamine may improve cognitive function in patients with epilepsy. Supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, vitamin D, and L-carnitine may be needed to prevent or treat deficiencies resulting from the use of anticonvulsant drugs. Vitamin K1 has been recommended near the end of pregnancy for women taking anticonvulsants. Melatonin may reduce seizure frequency in some cases, and progesterone may be useful for women with cyclic exacerbations of seizures. In most cases, nutritional therapy is not a substitute for anticonvulsant medications. However, in selected cases, depending on the effectiveness of the interventions, dosage reductions or discontinuation of medications may be possible. PMID:17397265

  19. Achieving acoustic cloak by using compressible background flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ruo-Yang; Zhao, Qing; Ge, Mo-Lin

    2016-08-01

    We propose a scheme of acoustic spherical cloaking by means of background irrotational flow in compressible fluid. The background flow forms a virtual curved spacetime and directs the sound waves to bypass the cloaked objects. To satisfy the laws of real fluid, we show that spatially distributed mass source and momentum source are necessary to supply. The propagation of sound waves in this system is studied via both geometric acoustics approximation and full wave approach. The analytic solution of sound fields is obtained for plane wave incidence. The results reveal the effect of phase retardation (or lead) in comparison with the ordinary transformation-acoustic cloak. In addition, the ability of cloaking is also evaluated for unideal background flows by analyzing the scattering cross section. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11475088 and 11275024) and the Fund from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant No. 2013YQ030595-3).

  20. The GLAST Background Model

    SciTech Connect

    Ormes, J.F.; Atwood, W.; Burnett, T.; Grove, E.; Longo, F.; McEnery, J.; Mizuno, T.; Ritz, S.; /NASA, Goddard

    2007-10-17

    In order to estimate the ability of the GLAST/LAT to reject unwanted background of charged particles, optimize the on-board processing, size the required telemetry and optimize the GLAST orbit, we developed a detailed model of the background particles that would affect the LAT. In addition to the well-known components of the cosmic radiation, we included splash and reentrant components of protons, electrons (e+ and e-) from 10 MeV and beyond as well as the albedo gamma rays produced by cosmic ray interactions with the atmosphere. We made estimates of the irreducible background components produced by positrons and hadrons interacting in the multilayered micrometeorite shield and spacecraft surrounding the LAT and note that because the orbital debris has increased, the shielding required and hence the background are larger than were present in EGRET. Improvements to the model are currently being made to include the east-west effect.

  1. The GLAST Background Model

    SciTech Connect

    Ormes, J. F.; Atwood, W.; Burnett, T.; Grove, E.; Longo, F.; McEnery, J.; Ritz, S.; Mizuno, T.

    2007-07-12

    In order to estimate the ability of the GLAST/LAT to reject unwanted background of charged particles, optimize the on-board processing, size the required telemetry and optimize the GLAST orbit, we developed a detailed model of the background particles that would affect the LAT. In addition to the well-known components of the cosmic radiation, we included splash and reentrant components of protons, electrons (e+ and e-) from 10 MeV and beyond as well as the albedo gamma rays produced by cosmic ray interactions with the atmosphere. We made estimates of the irreducible background components produced by positrons and hadrons interacting in the multilayered micrometeorite shield and spacecraft surrounding the LAT and note that because the orbital debris has increased, the shielding required and hence the background are larger than were present in EGRET. Improvements to the model are currently being made to include the east-west effect.

  2. Vocational Education and Training for People from Non-English-Speaking Backgrounds. Review of Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Volkoff, Veronica; Golding, Barry

    Research on the provision of vocational education and training (VET) for Australia's very culturally diverse work force with non-English-speaking backgrounds (NESBs) considers the extent and nature of the disadvantage. The current definition of NESB limits membership to those born overseas; a proposed two-pronged approach is based on "first…

  3. Efficient and accurate local approximations to coupled-electron pair approaches: An attempt to revive the pair natural orbital method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neese, Frank; Wennmohs, Frank; Hansen, Andreas

    2009-03-01

    Coupled-electron pair approximations (CEPAs) and coupled-pair functionals (CPFs) have been popular in the 1970s and 1980s and have yielded excellent results for small molecules. Recently, interest in CEPA and CPF methods has been renewed. It has been shown that these methods lead to competitive thermochemical, kinetic, and structural predictions. They greatly surpass second order Møller-Plesset and popular density functional theory based approaches in accuracy and are intermediate in quality between CCSD and CCSD(T) in extended benchmark studies. In this work an efficient production level implementation of the closed shell CEPA and CPF methods is reported that can be applied to medium sized molecules in the range of 50-100 atoms and up to about 2000 basis functions. The internal space is spanned by localized internal orbitals. The external space is greatly compressed through the method of pair natural orbitals (PNOs) that was also introduced by the pioneers of the CEPA approaches. Our implementation also makes extended use of density fitting (or resolution of the identity) techniques in order to speed up the laborious integral transformations. The method is called local pair natural orbital CEPA (LPNO-CEPA) (LPNO-CPF). The implementation is centered around the concepts of electron pairs and matrix operations. Altogether three cutoff parameters are introduced that control the size of the significant pair list, the average number of PNOs per electron pair, and the number of contributing basis functions per PNO. With the conservatively chosen default values of these thresholds, the method recovers about 99.8% of the canonical correlation energy. This translates to absolute deviations from the canonical result of only a few kcal mol-1. Extended numerical test calculations demonstrate that LPNO-CEPA (LPNO-CPF) has essentially the same accuracy as parent CEPA (CPF) methods for thermochemistry, kinetics, weak interactions, and potential energy surfaces but is up to 500

  4. A Green Sequential Injection Spectrophotometric Approach Using Natural Reagent Extracts from Heartwood of Ceasalpinia sappan Linn. for Determination of Aluminium.

    PubMed

    Siriangkhawut, Watsaka; Khanhuathon, Yaowalak; Chantiratikul, Piyanete; Ponhong, Kraingkrai; Grudpan, Kate

    2016-01-01

    A cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach using a simple sequential injection spectrophotometric system with a non-synthetic reagent from plant extracts was proposed for a green analytical-chemistry methodology. The crude aqueous extracts from heartwood of Ceasalpinia sappan Linn. in acetate buffer pH 5.5 were utilized as an alternative natural reagent for the quantification of aluminium. The extracts contained homoisoflavonoid compounds, brazilin, and brazilein, which reacted with Al(3+) to form reddish complexes with the maximum absorption wavelength at 530 nm. The optimum conditions for the sequential injection parameters, such as sequential profile, sample and reagent volumes, and the pH effect, were investigated. Under the optimum conditions, a linear calibration graph in the range of 0.075 - 1.0 mg L(-1) Al(3+) was obtained with limits of detection and quantification of 0.021 and 0.072 mg L(-1) Al(3+), respectively. Relative standard deviations of 3.2 and 2.4% for 0.1 and 0.25 mg L(-1) Al(3+) (n = 11), respectively, and sampling rate of 128 injections h(-1) were achieved. The developed system was successfully applied to pharmaceutical preparations, water, and beverage samples. The results agreed well with those obtained from the ICP-AES method. Good recoveries between 87 and 104% were obtained. PMID:26960614

  5. Combining Mass Spectrometric Metabolic Profiling with Genomic Analysis: A Powerful Approach for Discovering Natural Products from Cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Kleigrewe, Karin; Almaliti, Jehad; Tian, Isaac Yuheng; Kinnel, Robin B.; Korobeynikov, Anton; Monroe, Emily A.; Duggan, Brendan M.; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Sherman, David H.; Dorrestein, Pieter C.; Gerwick, Lena; Gerwick, William H.

    2015-01-01

    An innovative approach was developed for the discovery of new natural products by combining mass spectrometric metabolic profiling with genomic analysis, and resulted in the discovery of the columbamides, a new class of di- and tri-chlorinated acyl amides with cannabinomimetic activity. Three species of cultured marine cyanobacteria, Moorea producens 3L, Moorea producens JHB and Moorea bouillonii PNG, were subjected to genome sequencing and analysis for their recognizable biosynthetic pathways, and this information was then compared with their respective metabolomes as detected by MS-profiling. By genome analysis, a presumed regulatory domain was identified upstream of several previously described biosynthetic gene clusters in two of these cyanobacteria, M. producens 3L and M. producens JHB. A similar regulatory domain was identified in the M. bouillonii PNG genome, and a corresponding downstream biosynthetic gene cluster was located and carefully analyzed. Subsequently, MS-based molecular networking identified a series of candidate products, and these were isolated and their structures rigorously established. Based on their distinctive acyl amide structure, the most prevalent metabolite was evaluated for cannabinomimetic properties and found to be a moderate affinity ligand for CB1. PMID:26149623

  6. Emphasizing the History of Genetics in an Explicit and Reflective Approach to Teaching the Nature of Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Cody Tyler; Rudge, David Wÿss

    2016-05-01

    Science education researchers have long advocated the central role of the nature of science (NOS) for our understanding of scientific literacy. NOS is often interpreted narrowly to refer to a host of epistemological issues associated with the process of science and the limitations of scientific knowledge. Despite its importance, practitioners and researchers alike acknowledge that students have difficulty learning NOS and that this in part reflects how difficult it is to teach. One particularly promising method for teaching NOS involves an explicit and reflective approach using the history of science. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of a historically based genetics unit on undergraduates' understanding of NOS. The three-class unit developed for this study introduces students to Mendelian genetics using the story of Gregor Mendel's work. NOS learning objectives were emphasized through discussion questions and investigations. The unit was administered to undergraduates in an introductory biology course for pre-service elementary teachers. The influence of the unit was determined by students' responses to the SUSSI instrument, which was administered pre- and post-intervention. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted that focused on changes in students' responses from pre- to post-test. Data collected indicated that students showed improved NOS understanding related to observations, inferences, and the influence of culture on science.

  7. Review on dry reforming of methane, a potentially more environmentally-friendly approach to the increasing natural gas exploitation.

    PubMed

    Lavoie, Jean-Michel

    2014-01-01

    With the actual growth of the natural gas industry in the US as well as the potential and availability of this non-renewable carbon source worldwide, reforming of methane gas is getting increasing attention. Methane can be used for the production of heat or electricity, as well, it can be converted to syngas, a building block that could lead to the production of liquid fuels and chemicals, a very promising pathway in light of the increasing price of oil. Amongst the different reforming techniques, dry reforming could represent a very interesting approach both to valorize a cheap source or carbon (CO2) as well as to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the increasing worldwide fossil-based methane consumption. In this short review, attention will be given to the thermodynamics of dry reforming followed by an investigation on dry reforming using heterogeneous catalyst by focusing on the most popular elements used in literature for dry reforming. Attention will as well be given to other emerging techniques that may allow countering at one point the high thermodynamic penalties that accompanies conversion of methane using carbon dioxide. PMID:25426488

  8. Review on dry reforming of methane, a potentially more environmentally-friendly approach to the increasing natural gas exploitation

    PubMed Central

    Lavoie, Jean-Michel

    2014-01-01

    With the actual growth of the natural gas industry in the US as well as the potential and availability of this non-renewable carbon source worldwide, reforming of methane gas is getting increasing attention. Methane can be used for the production of heat or electricity, as well, it can be converted to syngas, a building block that could lead to the production of liquid fuels and chemicals, a very promising pathway in light of the increasing price of oil. Amongst the different reforming techniques, dry reforming could represent a very interesting approach both to valorize a cheap source or carbon (CO2) as well as to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the increasing worldwide fossil-based methane consumption. In this short review, attention will be given to the thermodynamics of dry reforming followed by an investigation on dry reforming using heterogeneous catalyst by focusing on the most popular elements used in literature for dry reforming. Attention will as well be given to other emerging techniques that may allow countering at one point the high thermodynamic penalties that accompanies conversion of methane using carbon dioxide. PMID:25426488

  9. Review on dry reforming of methane, a potentially more environmentally-friendly approach to the increasing natural gas exploitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavoie, Jean-Michel

    2014-11-01

    With the actual growth of the natural gas industry in the US as well as the potential and availability of this non-renewable carbon source worldwide, reforming of methane gas is getting increasing attention. Methane can be used for the production of heat or electricity, as well, it can be converted to syngas, a building block that could lead to the production of liquid fuels and chemical, a very promising pathway in light of the increasing price of oil. Amongst the different reforming techniques, dry reforming could represent a very interesting approach both to valorize a cheap source or carbon (CO2) as well as to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the increasing worldwide fossil-based methane consumption. In this short review, attention will be given on the thermodynamics of dry reforming followed by an investigation on dry reforming using heterogeneous catalyst by focusing on the mots popular elements used in literature for dry reforming. Attention will as well be given to different other emerging techniques that may allow countering at one point the high thermodynamic penalties that accompanies conversion of methane using carbon dioxide.

  10. The Cosmic Background Explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gulkis, Samuel; Lubin, Philip M.; Meyer, Stephan S.; Silverberg, Robert F.

    1990-01-01

    The Cosmic Background Explorer (CBE), NASA's cosmological satellite which will observe a radiative relic of the big bang, is discussed. The major questions connected to the big bang theory which may be clarified using the CBE are reviewed. The satellite instruments and experiments are described, including the Differential Microwave Radiometer, which measures the difference between microwave radiation emitted from two points on the sky, the Far-Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer, which compares the spectrum of radiation from the sky at wavelengths from 100 microns to one cm with that from an internal blackbody, and the Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment, which searches for the radiation from the earliest generation of stars.

  11. China: Background Notes Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reams, Joanne Reppert

    Concise background information on the People's Republic of China is provided. The publication begins with a profile of the country, outlining the people, geography, economy, and membership in international organizations. The bulk of the document then discusses in more detail China's people, geography, history, government, education, economy, and…

  12. Berkeley Low Background Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, K. J.; Smith, A. R.; Poon, A. W. P.; Chan, Y. D.; Norman, E. B.; Lesko, K. T.

    2015-08-01

    The Berkeley Low Background Facility (BLBF) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California provides low background gamma spectroscopy services to a wide array of experiments and projects. The analysis of samples takes place within two unique facilities; locally within a carefully-constructed, low background laboratory on the surface at LBNL and at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD. These facilities provide a variety of gamma spectroscopy services to low background experiments primarily in the form of passive material screening for primordial radioisotopes (U, Th, K) or common cosmogenic/anthropogenic products; active screening via neutron activation analysis for U,Th, and K as well as a variety of stable isotopes; and neutron flux/beam characterization measurements through the use of monitors. A general overview of the facilities, services, and sensitivities will be presented. Recent activities and upgrades will also be described including an overview of the recently installed counting system at SURF (recently relocated from Oroville, CA in 2014), the installation of a second underground counting station at SURF in 2015, and future plans. The BLBF is open to any users for counting services or collaboration on a wide variety of experiments and projects.

  13. Berkeley Low Background Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, K. J.; Norman, E. B.; Smith, A. R.; Poon, A. W. P.; Chan, Y. D.; Lesko, K. T.

    2015-08-17

    The Berkeley Low Background Facility (BLBF) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California provides low background gamma spectroscopy services to a wide array of experiments and projects. The analysis of samples takes place within two unique facilities; locally within a carefully-constructed, low background laboratory on the surface at LBNL and at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD. These facilities provide a variety of gamma spectroscopy services to low background experiments primarily in the form of passive material screening for primordial radioisotopes (U, Th, K) or common cosmogenic/anthropogenic products; active screening via neutron activation analysis for U,Th, and K as well as a variety of stable isotopes; and neutron flux/beam characterization measurements through the use of monitors. A general overview of the facilities, services, and sensitivities will be presented. Recent activities and upgrades will also be described including an overview of the recently installed counting system at SURF (recently relocated from Oroville, CA in 2014), the installation of a second underground counting station at SURF in 2015, and future plans. The BLBF is open to any users for counting services or collaboration on a wide variety of experiments and projects.

  14. Foregrounding the Background.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robbins, Bruce

    1998-01-01

    Argues that when introductory activities to the classics begin with background information, it can upstage or confine the life of the story, and shows little faith in the students as readers or in the literature itself. Suggests sometimes letting the literature begin, and then helping students make sense of it. Discusses examples from "To Kill a…

  15. Monitored background radiometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruel, C.; Larouche, M.; Donato, M.

    1986-01-01

    The infrared (IR) testing of the Olympus thermal model has provided a capability to perform cost effective thermal balance testing of satellites and satellite components. A high-accuracy monitored background radiometer was developed for the measurement of absorbed radiation heat flux encountered during IR thermal vacuum testing of spacecraft. The design, development, and calibration of this radiometer is described.

  16. Developing Views of Nature of Science in an Authentic Context: An Explicit Approach to Bridging the Gap between Nature of Science and Scientific Inquiry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Renee S.; Lederman, Norman G.; Crawford, Barbara A.

    2004-01-01

    Reform efforts emphasize teaching science to promote contemporary views of the nature of science (NOS) and scientific inquiry. Within the framework of situated cognition, the assertion is that engagement in inquiry activities similar to those of scientists provides a learning context conducive to developing knowledge about the methods and…

  17. The Environmental Protection Agency's Watershed-based Approach: where social and natural sciences meet to address today's water resource challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biddle, J. C.

    2010-12-01

    A growing number of governmental organizations at the local, state, and federal level collaborate with nongovernmental organizations and individuals to solve watershed scale problems (Imperial and Koontz, 2007). Such a shift in policy approach from hierarchical regulation to bottom-up collaboration is largely a result of regulator’s recognition of the interdependence of natural and socio-economic systems on a watershed scale (Steelman and Carmin, 2002. Agencies throughout the federal government increasingly favored new governing institutions that encourage cooperation between local actors with conflicting interests, divergent geographic bases, and overlapping administrative jurisdictions to resolve continuing disputes over resource management (Bardach 1998). This favoritism of collaborative over command-and-control approaches for managing nonpoint source pollution led to the development of watershed partnerships and the watershed-based approach (Lubell et al., 2002). This study aims to further collaborative governance scholarship and aid decision-makers in identifying the critical elements of collaborative governance resulting in environmental improvements. To date, this relationship has not been empirically determined, in spite of the fact that collaborative governance is used routinely by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in resolving issues related to watershed management and other applications. This gap in the research is largely due to the lack of longitudinal data. In order to determine whether changes have occurred, environmental data must be collected over relatively long time periods (Koontz and Thomas, 2006; Sabatier, et al., 2005). However, collecting these data is often cost prohibitive. Monitoring water quality is expensive and requires technical expertise, and is often the first line item cut in environmental management budgets. This research is interdisciplinary, looking at the physical, chemical, and biological parameters for 44 waterbodies

  18. Text Mining and Natural Language Processing Approaches for Automatic Categorization of Lay Requests to Web-Based Expert Forums

    PubMed Central

    Reincke, Ulrich; Michelmann, Hans Wilhelm

    2009-01-01

    Background Both healthy and sick people increasingly use electronic media to obtain medical information and advice. For example, Internet users may send requests to Web-based expert forums, or so-called “ask the doctor” services. Objective To automatically classify lay requests to an Internet medical expert forum using a combination of different text-mining strategies. Methods We first manually classified a sample of 988 requests directed to a involuntary childlessness forum on the German website “Rund ums Baby” (“Everything about Babies”) into one or more of 38 categories belonging to two dimensions (“subject matter” and “expectations”). After creating start and synonym lists, we calculated the average Cramer’s V statistic for the association of each word with each category. We also used principle component analysis and singular value decomposition as further text-mining strategies. With these measures we trained regression models and determined, on the basis of best regression models, for any request the probability of belonging to each of the 38 different categories, with a cutoff of 50%. Recall and precision of a test sample were calculated as a measure of quality for the automatic classification. Results According to the manual classification of 988 documents, 102 (10%) documents fell into the category “in vitro fertilization (IVF),” 81 (8%) into the category “ovulation,” 79 (8%) into “cycle,” and 57 (6%) into “semen analysis.” These were the four most frequent categories in the subject matter dimension (consisting of 32 categories). The expectation dimension comprised six categories; we classified 533 documents (54%) as “general information” and 351 (36%) as a wish for “treatment recommendations.” The generation of indicator variables based on the chi-square analysis and Cramer’s V proved to be the best approach for automatic classification in about half of the categories. In combination with the two other

  19. A Multi-Level Approach to Modeling Rapidly Growing Mega-Regions as a Coupled Human-Natural System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, J. A.; Tang, W.; Meentemeyer, R. K.

    2013-12-01

    The FUTure Urban-Regional Environment Simulation (FUTURES) integrates information on nonstationary drivers of land change (per capita land area demand, site suitability, and spatial structure of conversion events) into spatial-temporal projections of changes in landscape patterns (Meentemeyer et al., 2013). One striking feature of FUTURES is its patch-growth algorithm that includes feedback effects of former development events across several temporal and spatial scales: cell-level transition events are aggregated into patches of land change and their further growth is based on empirically derived parameters controlling its size, shape, and dispersion. Here, we augment the FUTURES modeling framework by expanding its multilevel structure and its representation of human decision making. The new modeling framework is hierarchically organized as nested subsystems including the latest theory on telecouplings in coupled human-natural systems (Liu et al., 2013). Each subsystem represents a specific level of spatial scale and embraces agents that have decision making authority at a particular level. The subsystems are characterized with regard to their spatial representation and are connected via flows of information (e.g. regulations and policies) or material (e.g. population migration). To provide a modeling framework that is applicable to a wide range of settings and geographical regions and to keep it computationally manageable, we implement a 'zooming factor' that allows to enable or disable subsystems (and hence the represented processes), based on the extent of the study region. The implementation of the FUTURES modeling framework for a specific case study follows the observational modeling approach described in Grimm et al. (2005), starting from the analysis of empirical data in order to capture the processes relevant for specific scales and to allow a rigorous calibration and validation of the model application. In this paper, we give an introduction to the basic

  20. Background illumination simulator

    SciTech Connect

    Towry, E.R.

    1992-05-12

    This patent describes a testing apparatus for testing and evaluating the performance of laser seeking warheads for missiles, under simulated weather conditions. It comprises support means for supporting a warhead seeker; laser means for generating a laser beam and for directing a laser beam towards the seeker; a diffusion screen interposed between the seeker support means and the laser means for diffusing the laser beam; a collimating lens interposed between the diffusion screen and the seeker support means for collimating the diffused laser beam and for directing the collimated laser beam onto a warhead seeker, supported in the seeker support; background illuminator means for illuminating the seeker support and a seeker disposed therein, supported for movement into and out of an operating position between the diffusion means and the collimating lens for providing background lighting in simulation of weather lighting conditions; and control means for controlling the intensity of the light provided by the illuminator means to simulate various weather conditions.

  1. Some background about satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, Joseph A.

    1986-01-01

    Four tables of planetary and satellite data are presented which list satellite discoveries, planetary parameters, satellite orbits, and satellite physical properties respectively. A scheme for classifying the satellites is provided and it is noted that most known moons fall into three general classes: regular satellites, collisional shards, and irregular satellites. Satellite processes are outlined with attention given to origins, dynamical and thermal evolution, surface processes, and composition and cratering. Background material is provided for each family of satellites.

  2. Seasonal functioning and dynamics of Caulerpa prolifera meadows in shallow areas: An integrated approach in Cadiz Bay Natural Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vergara, Juan J.; García-Sánchez, M. Paz; Olivé, Irene; García-Marín, Patricia; Brun, Fernando G.; Pérez-Lloréns, J. Lucas; Hernández, Ignacio

    2012-10-01

    The rhizophyte alga Caulerpa prolifera thrives in dense monospecific stands in the vicinity of meadows of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa in Cadiz Bay Natural Park. The seasonal cycle of demographic and biometric properties, photosynthesis, and elemental composition (C:N:P) of this species were monitored bimonthly from March 2004 to March 2005. The number of primary assimilators peaked in spring as consequence of the new recruitment, reaching densities up to 104 assimilators·m-2. A second peak was recorded in late summer, with a further decrease towards autumn and winter. Despite this summer maximum, aboveground biomass followed a unimodal pattern, with a spring peak about 400 g dry weight·m-2. In conjunction to demographic properties of the population, a detailed biometric analysis showed that the percentage of assimilators bearing proliferations and the number of proliferations per assimilator were maximal in spring (100% and c.a. 17, respectively), and decreased towards summer and autumn. The size of the primary assimilators was minimal in spring (May) as a result of the new recruitments. However, the frond area per metre of stolon peaked in early spring and decreased towards the remainder of the year. The thallus area index (TAI) was computed from two different, independent approaches which both produced similar results, with a maximum TAI recorded in spring (transient values up to 18 m2·m-2). The relative contribution of primary assimilators and proliferations to TAI was also assessed. Whereas the number of proliferations accounted for most of the TAI peak in spring, its contribution decreased during the year, to a minimum in winter, where primary assimilators were the main contributors to TAI. The present study represents the first report of the seasonal dynamics of C. prolifera in south Atlantic Spanish coasts, and indicates the important contribution of this primary producer in shallow coastal ecosystems.

  3. Background Information for Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    US Environmental Protection Agency, 2001

    2001-01-01

    Mercury is a naturally occurring and widely used element that can cause health and ecological problems when released to the environment through human activities. Though a national and even international issue, the health and environmental impacts of mercury are best understood when studied at the local level. "Mercury: An Educator's Toolkit"…

  4. Backgrounder: The MAB Programme.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris (France). Office of Public Information.

    The Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) was launched in November 1971 under the auspices of Unesco. Its aim is to help to develop scientific knowledge with a view to the rational management and conservation of natural resources, to train qualified personnel in this field, and to disseminate the knowledge acquired both to the decision-makers and…

  5. How Views about the Nature of Management Can Affect the Content of Management Education Programmes: The Advance of the Political Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Bob; Piper, J. A.

    1986-01-01

    Although management has always been viewed as a subject from different perspectives, it is argued in this article that the developing emphasis in management theory on the political nature of organizational processes is radically different from earlier approaches. (Author/CT)

  6. The Backgrounds Data Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, W. A.; Gursky, H.; Heckathorn, H. M.; Lucke, R. L.; Berg, S. L.; Dombrowski, E. G.; Kessel, R. A.

    1993-01-01

    The Strategic Defense Initiative Organization has created data centers for midcourse, plumes, and backgrounds phenomenologies. The Backgrounds Data Center (BDC) has been designated as the prime archive for data collected by SDIO programs. The BDC maintains a Summary Catalog that contains 'metadata,' that is, information about data, such as when the data were obtained, what the spectral range of the data is, and what region of the Earth or sky was observed. Queries to this catalog result in a listing of all data sets (from all experiments in the Summary Catalog) that satisfy the specified criteria. Thus, the user can identify different experiments that made similar observations and order them from the BDC for analysis. On-site users can use the Science Analysis Facility (SAFE for this purpose. For some programs, the BDC maintains a Program Catalog, which can classify data in as many ways as desired (rather than just by position, time, and spectral range as in the Summary Catalog). For example, data sets could be tagged with such diverse parameters as solar illumination angle, signal level, or the value of a particular spectral ratio, as long as these quantities can be read from the digital record or calculated from it by the ingest program. All unclassified catalogs and unclassified data will be remotely accessible.

  7. Backgrounds Data Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, William A.; Gursky, Herbert; Heckathorn, Harry M.; Lucke, Bob L.; Dorland, Bryan N.; Kessel, R. A.; Berg, S. L.; Dombrowski, E. G.

    1994-09-01

    The Backgrounds Data Center (BDC) is the designated archive for backgrounds data collected by Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) programs, some of which include ultraviolet sensors. Currently, the BDC holds ultraviolet data from the IBSS, UVPI, UVLIM, and FUVCAM sensors. The BDC will also be the prime archive for Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) data and is prepared to negotiate with program managers to handle other datasets. The purpose of the BDC is to make data accessible to users and to assist them in analyzing it. The BDC maintains the Science Catalog Information Exchange System (SCIES) allowing remote users to log in, read or post notices about current programs, search the catalogs for datasets of interest, and submit orders for data. On-site facilities are also available for the analysis of data, and consist of VMS and UNIX workstations with access to software analysis packages such as IDL, IRAF, and Khoros. Either on-site or remotely, users can employ the BDC-developed graphical user interface called the Visual Interface for Space and Terrestrial Analysis (VISTA) to generate catalog queries and to display and analyze data. SCIES and VISTA permit nearly complete access to BDC services and capabilities without the need to be physically present at the data center.

  8. SPAM Detection Server Model Inspired by the Dionaea Muscipula Closure Mechanism: An Alternative Approach for Natural Computing Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Souza Pereira Lopes, Rodrigo Arthur; Carrari R. Lopes, Lia; Mustaro, Pollyana Notargiacomo

    Natural computing has been an increasingly evolving field in the last few years. Focusing on the interesting behaviours offered by nature and biological processes, this work intends to apply the metaphor of the carnivorous plant "Dionaea muscipula" as a complementary defence system against a recurring problem regarding internet and e-mails: spam. The metaphor model presents relevant aspects for further implementation and debate.

  9. Tracking the nature and duration of magma transfer beneath Mauna Loa using a crystal population and kinetic modelling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahl, M.; Morgan, D. J.; Thornber, C. R.; Trusdell, F. A.

    2014-12-01

    Deep long period (DPL) seismic swarms recently detected beneath Mauna Loa fuel speculation whether the volcano could enter a renewed phase of unrest. To mitigate threats from future eruptions, a better understanding of how and over which timescales magma moves within Mauna Loa is required. We present a novel approach linking the compositions preserved in the chemical stratigraphy of 158 olivine crystals with kinetic modelling to provide timescales and routes of magma migration beneath Mauna Loa prior to the voluminous (376 million m3, [1]) 1950 eruption of Mauna Loa. We have studied a total of 8 near-vent samples erupted from fissures that opened progressively at elevations from 12,000ft to 8,500ft within the first 24h of the eruption (June 1-23, 1950). The samples contain olivine crystals with different populations of core (Fo89, Fo87-88, Fo85-86, Fo82-84), and rim compositions (majority Fo78-81) and zoning patterns (normal, reverse and complex). The diverging compositional and zoning record can be best explained as the product of magma evolution in five distinct magmatic environments (MEs): M0 (=Fo89), M1 (=Fo87-88), M2 (=Fo85-86), M3 (=Fo82-84), M4 (=Fo78-81) with melt transfer and mixing among them. Modelling the diffusive relaxation of the compositional zoning profiles constrains the timescales and durations over which crystals (and melt) are transferred between the different MEs. Diffusion models were performed at temperatures of 1133-1168°C and fO2 at ∆NNO -0.55 [2]. The derived timescales range from ~20 days up to 11 months, with the majority of the timescales being shorter than 4 months. The nature and duration of magma transfer beneath Mauna Loa prior to the catastrophic 1950 eruption is interpreted as follows: (i) Three dominant magma migration pathways connecting the environments M1:M4, M3:M4 and M2:M4 can be identified; and (ii) transfer of magma along these routes occurs in multiples pulses commencing up to 8 months before, and becoming more

  10. Galileons on cosmological backgrounds

    SciTech Connect

    Goon, Garrett; Hinterbichler, Kurt; Trodden, Mark E-mail: kurthi@physics.upenn.edu

    2011-12-01

    We construct four-dimensional effective field theories of a generalized DBI galileon field, the dynamics of which naturally take place on a Friedmann-Robertson-Walker spacetime. The theories are invariant under non-linear symmetry transformations, which can be thought of as being inherited from five-dimensional bulk Killing symmetries via the probe brane technique through which they are constructed. The resulting model provides a framework in which to explore the cosmological role that galileons may play as the universe evolves.

  11. First- and second-order information in natural images: a filter-based approach to image statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Aaron P.; Baker, Curtis L.

    2004-06-01

    Previous analyses of natural image statistics have dealt mainly with their Fourier power spectra. Here we explore image statistics by examining responses to biologically motivated filters that are spatially localized and respond to first-order (luminance-defined) and second-order (contrast- or texture-defined) characteristics. We compare the distribution of natural image responses across filter parameters for first- and second-order information. We find that second-order information in natural scenes shows the same self-similarity previously described for first-order information but has substantially less orientational anisotropy. The magnitudes of the two kinds of information, as well as their mutual unsigned correlation, are much stronger for particular combinations of filter parameters in natural images but not in unstructured fractal images having the same power spectra.

  12. Gamma-Ray Background Variability in Mobile Detectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aucott, Timothy John

    Gamma-ray background radiation significantly reduces detection sensitivity when searching for radioactive sources in the field, such as in wide-area searches for homeland security applications. Mobile detector systems in particular must contend with a variable background that is not necessarily known or even measurable a priori. This work will present measurements of the spatial and temporal variability of the background, with the goal of merging gamma-ray detection, spectroscopy, and imaging with contextual information--a "nuclear street view" of the ubiquitous background radiation. The gamma-ray background originates from a variety of sources, both natural and anthropogenic. The dominant sources in the field are the primordial isotopes potassium-40, uranium-238, and thorium-232, as well as their decay daughters. In addition to the natural background, many artificially-created isotopes are used for industrial or medical purposes, and contamination from fission products can be found in many environments. Regardless of origin, these backgrounds will reduce detection sensitivity by adding both statistical as well as systematic uncertainty. In particular, large detector arrays will be limited by the systematic uncertainty in the background and will suffer from a high rate of false alarms. The goal of this work is to provide a comprehensive characterization of the gamma-ray background and its variability in order to improve detection sensitivity and evaluate the performance of mobile detectors in the field. Large quantities of data are measured in order to study their performance at very low false alarm rates. Two different approaches, spectroscopy and imaging, are compared in a controlled study in the presence of this measured background. Furthermore, there is additional information that can be gained by correlating the gamma-ray data with contextual data streams (such as cameras and global positioning systems) in order to reduce the variability in the background

  13. Faculty Approaches to Assessing Critical Thinking in the Humanities and the Natural and Social Sciences: Implications for General Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicholas, Mark C.; Labig, Chalmer E., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    An analysis of interviews, focus-group discussions, assessment instruments, and assignment prompts revealed that within general education, faculty assessed critical thinking as faceted using methods and criteria that varied epistemically across disciplines. Faculty approaches were misaligned with discipline-general institutional approaches.…

  14. Low background aspects of GERDA

    SciTech Connect

    Simgen, Hardy

    2011-04-27

    The GERDA experiment operates bare Germanium diodes enriched in {sup 76}Ge in an environment of pure liquid argon to search for neutrinoless double beta decay. A very low radioactive background is essential for the success of the experiment. We present here the research done in order to remove radio-impurities coming from the liquid argon, the stainless steel cryostat and the front-end electronics. We found that liquid argon can be purified efficiently from {sup 222}Rn. The main source of {sup 222}Rn in GERDA is the cryostat which emanates about 55 mBq. A thin copper shroud in the center of the cryostat was implemented to prevent radon from approaching the diodes. Gamma ray screening of radio-pure components for front-end electronics resulted in the development of a pre-amplifier with a total activity of less than 1 mBq {sup 228}Th.

  15. Historical Background and Introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vial, Jean-Claude

    Forty and twenty years after the two books published by Einar Tandberg-Hanssen (Solar prominences (Geophysics and astrophysics monographs), Vol. 12. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1974; The nature of solar prominences, astrophysics and space science library, Vol. 199. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995) on solar prominences, it is time to update our knowledge and understanding of these fascinating solar structures. After a brief history which overviews first eclipse observations (drawings and then photography), spectrographic, coronagraphic and later on polarimetric measurements, the chapter presents samples of the most spectacular results of the last two decades, obtained whether from space or on the ground. It discusses the contents of the book in order to encourage the reader to dip into the following 17 chapters which provide comprehensive and detailed observations, information about the methods used, and interpretation of the results on the basis of the latest theoretical and modelling works.

  16. Review: Natural tracers in fractured hard-rock aquifers in the Austrian part of the Eastern Alps—previous approaches and future perspectives for hydrogeology in mountain regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilberg, Sylke

    2016-08-01

    Extensive in-depth research is required for the implementation of natural tracer approaches to hydrogeological investigation to be feasible in mountainous regions. This review considers the application of hydrochemical and biotic parameters in mountain regions over the past few decades with particular reference to the Austrian Alps, as an example for alpine-type mountain belts. A brief introduction to Austria's hydrogeological arrangement is given to show the significance of fractured hard-rock aquifers for hydrogeological science as well as for water supply purposes. A literature search showed that research concerning fractured hard-rock aquifers in Austria is clearly underrepresented to date, especially when taking the abundance of this aquifer type and the significance of this topic into consideration. The application of abiotic natural tracers (hydrochemical and isotope parameters) is discussed generally and by means of examples from the Austrian Alps. The potential of biotic tracers (microbiota and meiofauna) is elucidated. It is shown that the meiofauna approach to investigating fractured aquifers has not yet been applied in the reviewed region, nor worldwide. Two examples of new approaches in mountainous fractured aquifers are introduced: (1) use of CO2 partial pressure and calcite saturation of spring water to reconstruct catchments and flow dynamics (abiotic approach), and, (2) consideration of hard-rock aquifers as habitats to reconstruct aquifer conditions (biotic approach).

  17. Review: Natural tracers in fractured hard-rock aquifers in the Austrian part of the Eastern Alps—previous approaches and future perspectives for hydrogeology in mountain regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilberg, Sylke

    2016-03-01

    Extensive in-depth research is required for the implementation of natural tracer approaches to hydrogeological investigation to be feasible in mountainous regions. This review considers the application of hydrochemical and biotic parameters in mountain regions over the past few decades with particular reference to the Austrian Alps, as an example for alpine-type mountain belts. A brief introduction to Austria's hydrogeological arrangement is given to show the significance of fractured hard-rock aquifers for hydrogeological science as well as for water supply purposes. A literature search showed that research concerning fractured hard-rock aquifers in Austria is clearly underrepresented to date, especially when taking the abundance of this aquifer type and the significance of this topic into consideration. The application of abiotic natural tracers (hydrochemical and isotope parameters) is discussed generally and by means of examples from the Austrian Alps. The potential of biotic tracers (microbiota and meiofauna) is elucidated. It is shown that the meiofauna approach to investigating fractured aquifers has not yet been applied in the reviewed region, nor worldwide. Two examples of new approaches in mountainous fractured aquifers are introduced: (1) use of CO2 partial pressure and calcite saturation of spring water to reconstruct catchments and flow dynamics (abiotic approach), and, (2) consideration of hard-rock aquifers as habitats to reconstruct aquifer conditions (biotic approach).

  18. Coupling geothermal energy capture with carbon dioxide sequestration in naturally permeable, porous geologic formations -- a novel approach for expanding geothermal energy utilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Randolph, Jimmy Bryan

    This thesis research presents a new method to harness geothermal energy by combining it with geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration. CO2 is injected into deep, naturally porous and permeable geologic formations. The geothermally heated CO2 is piped to the surface, used to produce electricity, and then returned to the subsurface. This new approach represents a radical shift in electric/heat power generation as it not only utilizes a renewable energy source but has a negative carbon footprint. This research explores the potential and applicability of the approach and related aspects of geologic fluid and heat flow.

  19. The cosmic background explorer

    SciTech Connect

    Gulkis, G. ); Lubin, P.M. ); Meyer, S.S. ); Silverberg, R.F.

    1990-01-01

    Late last year the National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched its first satellite dedicated to the study of phenomena related to the origins of the universe. The satellite, called the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), carries three complementary detectors that will make fundamental measurements of the celestial radiation. Part of that radiation is believed to have originated in processes that occurred at the very dawn of the universe. By measuring the remnant radiation at wavelengths from one micrometer to one centimeter across the entire sky, scientists hope to be able to solve many mysteries regarding the origin and evolution of the early universe. Unfortunately, these radiative relics of the early universe are weak and veiled by local astrophysical and terrestrial sources of radiation. The wavelengths of the various cosmic components may also overlap, thereby making the understanding of the diffuse celestial radiation a challenge. Nevertheless, the COBE instruments, with their full-sky coverage, high sensitivity to a wide range of wavelengths and freedom from interference from the earth's atmosphere, will constitute for astrophysicists an observatory of unprecedented sensitivity and scope. The interesting cosmic signals will then be separated from one another and from noncosmic radiation sources by a comprehensive analysis of the data.

  20. Genetical background of intelligence.

    PubMed

    Junkiert-Czarnecka, Anna; Haus, Olga

    2016-01-01

    Intelligence as an ability to reason, think abstractly and adapt effectively to the environment is a subject of research in the field of psychology, neurobiology, and in the last twenty years genetics as well. Genetical testing of twins carried out from XX century indicated heritebility of intelligence, therefore confirmed an influence of genetic factor on cognitive processes. Studies on genetic background of intelligence focus on dopaminergic (DRD2, DRD4, COMT, SLC6A3, DAT1, CCKAR) and adrenergic system (ADRB2, CHRM2) genes as well as, neutrofins (BDNF) and oxidative stress genes (LTF, PRNP). Positive effect of investigated gene polymorphism was indicated by variation c.957C>T DRD2 gene (if in polymorphic site is thymine), polymorphism c.472G>A COMT gene (presence of adenine) and also gene ADRB2 c.46A->G (guanine), CHRM2 (thymine in place c.1890A>T) and BDNF (guanine in place c.472G>A) Obtained results indicate that intelligence is a feature dependent not only on genetic but also an environmental factor. PMID:27333929

  1. Maritime infrared background clutter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwering, Piet B. W.

    1996-06-01

    The detection of small targets in maritime infrared surveillance is hampered by the presence of clutter. Sea surface structure, reflection and emission changes related to incident angle variations and surface effects are standard features governing the clutter behavior. Also special effects as sun glint and horizon effects play an important role for clutter. In order to optimize the detection process, quantitative clutter estimates are of use for filter settings. We have recorded a large amount of infrared backgrounds in the last few years, during common NATO trials. A large amount of different meteorological conditions took place during the various experiments. A first set of these data have been analyzed to obtain statistical data that represent the infrared scene. We have derived vertical temperature profiles, vertical fluctuation profiles, horizontal correlation coefficients and temporal correlation functions. In this paper we present the first analysis of these data. We are in the process of obtaining a condensed database of information to regenerate clutter images from bulk meteo parameters, and clutter parameters. The clutter and meteo parameters have been used to simulate various infrared scenes. Examples of this simulation process are shown in the presentation. The simulated images are statistically similar to the original images that were used to derive the parameters. A description of the image- generation is presented. Future expansions of the model are discussed.

  2. Biological aerosol background characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blatny, Janet; Fountain, Augustus W., III

    2011-05-01

    To provide useful information during military operations, or as part of other security situations, a biological aerosol detector has to respond within seconds or minutes to an attack by virulent biological agents, and with low false alarms. Within this time frame, measuring virulence of a known microorganism is extremely difficult, especially if the microorganism is of unknown antigenic or nucleic acid properties. Measuring "live" characteristics of an organism directly is not generally an option, yet only viable organisms are potentially infectious. Fluorescence based instruments have been designed to optically determine if aerosol particles have viability characteristics. Still, such commercially available biological aerosol detection equipment needs to be improved for their use in military and civil applications. Air has an endogenous population of microorganisms that may interfere with alarm software technologies. To design robust algorithms, a comprehensive knowledge of the airborne biological background content is essential. For this reason, there is a need to study ambient live bacterial populations in as many locations as possible. Doing so will permit collection of data to define diverse biological characteristics that in turn can be used to fine tune alarm algorithms. To avoid false alarms, improving software technologies for biological detectors is a crucial feature requiring considerations of various parameters that can be applied to suppress alarm triggers. This NATO Task Group will aim for developing reference methods for monitoring biological aerosol characteristics to improve alarm algorithms for biological detection. Additionally, they will focus on developing reference standard methodology for monitoring biological aerosol characteristics to reduce false alarm rates.

  3. The Paleontologist as a Teacher of Natural History.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lane, N. Gary

    1979-01-01

    The paleontologist is well suited to develop a course in natural history. The paleontologist's background in both physical and biological sciences lends itself well to an interdisciplinary approach to natural history. A course developed by the author, paleontologist, is described. (RE)

  4. A combined approach to physical vulnerability of large cities exposed to natural hazards - the case study of Arequipa, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thouret, Jean-Claude; Ettinger, Susanne; Zuccaro, Giulio; Guitton, Mathieu; Martelli, Kim; Degregorio, Daniela; Nardone, Stefano; Santoni, Olivier; Magill, Christina; Luque, Juan Alexis; Arguedas, Ana

    2013-04-01

    Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru with almost one million inhabitants, is exposed to various natural hazards, such as earthquakes, landslides, flash floods, and volcanic eruptions. This study focuses on the vulnerability and response of housing, infrastructure and lifelines in Arequipa to flash floods and eruption induced hazards, notably lahars from El Misti volcano. We propose a combined approach for assessing physical vulnerability in a large city based on: (1) remote sensing utilizing high-resolution imagery (SPOT5, Google Earth Pro, Bing, Pléïades) to map the distribution and type of land use, properties of city blocks in terms of exposure to the hazard (elevation above river level, distance to channel, impact angle, etc.); (2) in situ survey of buildings and critical infrastructure (e.g., bridges) and strategic resources (e.g., potable water, irrigation, sewage); (3) information gained from interviews with engineers involved in construction works, previous crises (e.g., June 2001 earthquake) and risk mitigation in Arequipa. Remote sensing and mapping at the scale of the city has focused on three pilot areas, along the perennial Rio Chili valley that crosses the city and oasis from north to south, and two of the east-margin tributaries termed Quebrada (ravine): San Lazaro crossing the northern districts and Huarangal crossing the northeastern districts. Sampling of city blocks through these districts provides varying geomorphic, structural, historical, and socio-economic characteristics for each sector. A reconnaissance survey included about 900 edifices located in 40 city blocks across districts of the pilot areas, distinct in age, construction, land use and demographics. A building acts as a structural system and its strength and resistance to flashfloods and lahars therefore highly depends on the type of construction and the used material. Each building surveyed was assigned to one of eight building categories based on physical criteria (dominant

  5. Spectral Analysis in High Radiation Space Backgrounds with Robust Fitting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lasche, G. P.; Coldwell, R. L.; Nobel, L. A.; Rester, A. C.; Trombka, J. I.

    1997-01-01

    Spectral analysis software is tested for its ability to fit spectra from space. The approach, which emphasizes the background shape function, is uniquely suited to the identification of weak-strength nuclides in high-radiation background environments.

  6. Prospecting for new bacterial metabolites: a glossary of approaches for inducing, activating and upregulating the biosynthesis of bacterial cryptic or silent natural products.

    PubMed

    Zarins-Tutt, Joseph Scott; Barberi, Tania Triscari; Gao, Hong; Mearns-Spragg, Andrew; Zhang, Lixin; Newman, David J; Goss, Rebecca Jane Miriam

    2016-01-01

    Covering: up to 2015. Over the centuries, microbial secondary metabolites have played a central role in the treatment of human diseases and have revolutionised the pharmaceutical industry. With the increasing number of sequenced microbial genomes revealing a plethora of novel biosynthetic genes, natural product drug discovery is entering an exciting second golden age. Here, we provide a concise overview as an introductory guide to the main methods employed to unlock or up-regulate these so called 'cryptic', 'silent' and 'orphan' gene clusters, and increase the production of the encoded natural product. With a predominant focus on bacterial natural products we will discuss the importance of the bioinformatics approach for genome mining, the use of first different and simple culturing techniques and then the application of genetic engineering to unlock the microbial treasure trove. PMID:26538321

  7. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... inspection and copying from FHWA headquarters and field offices as prescribed at 49 CFR part 7. (1) There is... participation with title 23, U.S. Code, funds. (c) 33 CFR parts 320 through 330, Regulatory Program, U.S....

  8. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... inspection and copying from FHWA headquarters and field offices as prescribed at 49 CFR part 7. (1) There is... participation with title 23, U.S. Code, funds. (c) 33 CFR parts 320 through 330, Regulatory Program, U.S....

  9. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... inspection and copying from FHWA headquarters and field offices as prescribed at 49 CFR part 7. (1) There is... participation with title 23, U.S. Code, funds. (c) 33 CFR parts 320 through 330, Regulatory Program, U.S....

  10. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... inspection and copying from FHWA headquarters and field offices as prescribed at 49 CFR part 7. (1) There is... participation with title 23, U.S. Code, funds. (c) 33 CFR parts 320 through 330, Regulatory Program, U.S....

  11. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... inspection and copying from FHWA headquarters and field offices as prescribed at 49 CFR part 7. (1) There is... participation with title 23, U.S. Code, funds. (c) 33 CFR parts 320 through 330, Regulatory Program, U.S....

  12. Using a multicultural approach to teach chemistry and the nature of science to undergraduate non-majors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goff, Peter; Boesdorfer, Sarah B.; Hunter, William

    2012-09-01

    This research documents the creation, implementation, and evaluation of a novel chemistry curriculum. The curriculum allowed students to create theories situated in a variety of cultures while they investigated chemical phenomena central to all civilizations; it was a way of synthesizing chemistry, the history and nature of science, inquiry, and multicultural education. Achieving both chemistry content and nature of science objectives were the main goals of the curriculum. A small sample of undergraduate students participated in the curriculum instead of attending a large lecture course. The novel curriculum covered the same chemistry topics as the large lecture course. Program efficacy was evaluated using a combination of grades, survey data, and interviews with the participating undergraduates. The results suggest that this curriculum was a successful start at engaging students and teaching them chemistry as well as nature of science concepts.

  13. A new approach to the determination of the synthetic or natural origin of red pigments through spectroscopic analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franquelo, Maria Luisa; Perez-Rodriguez, Jose Luis

    2016-09-01

    This work suggests a way of differentiation between the natural or synthetic origin of inorganic materials that were historically used in the Cultural Heritage field. An exhaustive review of different reported procedures of synthesis of pigments was conducted, as well as a review of the accompanying minerals in case of natural pigments. The natural or synthetic origin of the pigments studied in this work was performed through the characterization of the accompanying minerals, in the case of the natural pigments, or the trace elements that are present as part of synthesis by-products or washing/purifying reagents and/or reactants that have only been partly removed in the final steps of these processes. This work characterized red pigments due to their wide variety, complexity and possibility of use in different mixtures. The following pigments were studied: cinnabar-vermilion, red lead and iron pigments. Also mixtures of these pigments between them and with red lake were also studied. Natural cinnabar was accompanied by silicon oxide (opal, chalcedony or quartz), calcite, clay minerals and, sometimes, pyrite. K together with S indicated a synthetic pigment (vermilion) obtained through the wet method. Nevertheless, K has not been found in layers containing only vermilion in our samples. The presence of Sn in some cases indicated vermilion that came from the dry process. K from the synthesis always appeared in the red lead pigment. The red natural ochre was confirmed by presence of clay minerals and iron. It should be said that Ca and S, and sometimes Al and K, were usually found in Mars red pigment. The presence of Al and Ca allowed the identification of carmine lake.

  14. A new approach to the determination of the synthetic or natural origin of red pigments through spectroscopic analysis.

    PubMed

    Franquelo, Maria Luisa; Perez-Rodriguez, Jose Luis

    2016-09-01

    This work suggests a way of differentiation between the natural or synthetic origin of inorganic materials that were historically used in the Cultural Heritage field. An exhaustive review of different reported procedures of synthesis of pigments was conducted, as well as a review of the accompanying minerals in case of natural pigments. The natural or synthetic origin of the pigments studied in this work was performed through the characterization of the accompanying minerals, in the case of the natural pigments, or the trace elements that are present as part of synthesis by-products or washing/purifying reagents and/or reactants that have only been partly removed in the final steps of these processes. This work characterized red pigments due to their wide variety, complexity and possibility of use in different mixtures. The following pigments were studied: cinnabar-vermilion, red lead and iron pigments. Also mixtures of these pigments between them and with red lake were also studied. Natural cinnabar was accompanied by silicon oxide (opal, chalcedony or quartz), calcite, clay minerals and, sometimes, pyrite. K together with S indicated a synthetic pigment (vermilion) obtained through the wet method. Nevertheless, K has not been found in layers containing only vermilion in our samples. The presence of Sn in some cases indicated vermilion that came from the dry process. K from the synthesis always appeared in the red lead pigment. The red natural ochre was confirmed by presence of clay minerals and iron. It should be said that Ca and S, and sometimes Al and K, were usually found in Mars red pigment. The presence of Al and Ca allowed the identification of carmine lake. PMID:27219074

  15. Towards the Application of a River Management Approach Encompassing most Natural Process Drivers : Lessons Learned from Freedom Space for Rivers in Quebec (Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biron, P.; Buffin-Belanger, T. K.; Massé, S.

    2015-12-01

    The consensus around the need for a shift in river management approaches to include more natural processes is steadily growing amongst scientists, practitioners and governmental agencies. Not only is this a sound way to increase resilience of fluvial systems and adapt to climate change, but it will likely result in improved water quality and better aquatic habitat. This paper presents the freedom space for rivers approach which we have developed recently in Quebec (Canada) to combine natural processes related to mobility, flooding and riparian wetland connectivity into a single index. The approach was applied to 3 contrasted rivers (de la Roche, Yamaska Sud-Est and Matane) to produce two main levels of freedom space, operating at two time scales: "short" (in geomorphic terms, i.e. < 50 years) and long (floodplain renewal, ranging from several decades to centuries). For each river, a cost-benefit analysis revealed economic benefits over a 50-year period when taking into account ecosystem services. There is now a growing interest within ministries and watershed agencies to implement such a management approach, but also strong inertia and resistance to change, particularly in agricultural watersheds. Our observations reveal that for such a shift in paradigm to operate, hydrogeomorphogical concepts must be better understood by those in charge of managing rivers, which is currently not the case in Quebec. The role of integrating scientific knowledge in the implementation of a freedom space for rivers management scheme will be discussed based on case studies in 3 watersheds: rivière du Nord, Coaticook and Mitis/Neigette. The original approach was applied only to the main branches, however the second phase of the project is also aiming to determine whether the impact of leaving more space for natural rivers to operate would be more beneficial in headwater tributaries than in higher-order reaches.

  16. Estimating U.S. Methane Emissions from the Natural Gas Supply Chain. Approaches, Uncertainties, Current Estimates, and Future Studies

    SciTech Connect

    Heath, Garvin; Warner, Ethan; Steinberg, Daniel; Brandt, Adam

    2015-08-01

    A growing number of studies have raised questions regarding uncertainties in our understanding of methane (CH4) emissions from fugitives and venting along the natural gas (NG) supply chain. In particular, a number of measurement studies have suggested that actual levels of CH4 emissions may be higher than estimated by EPA" tm s U.S. GHG Emission Inventory. We reviewed the literature to identify the growing number of studies that have raised questions regarding uncertainties in our understanding of methane (CH4) emissions from fugitives and venting along the natural gas (NG) supply chain.

  17. Natural ELF noise evaluation for TSS emissions detection on the Earth's surface. The electric field component approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tacconi, G.

    1986-01-01

    The preliminary estimate of the local noise structure in the proximity of a receiver is essential to establishing the detectability of a given signal in presence of such noise. The possibility of detecting the Electric Field Component of the background noise by means of electric dipoles horizontally placed on the sea bed in shallow water is outlined, in order to find its spectral and statistical characteristics for the definition of the optimal receiving system.

  18. Background sources in optical communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vilnrotter, V. A.

    1983-01-01

    The characterization and measurement of background radiation relevant to optical communications system performance is addressed. The necessary optical receiver parameters are described, and radiometric concepts required for the calculation of collected background power are developed. The most important components of optical background power are discussed, and their contribution to the total collected background power in various communications scenarios is examined.

  19. Background and Rationale.

    PubMed

    Penman-Aguilar, Ana; Bouye, Karen; Liburd, Leandris

    2016-02-12

    In 2011, CDC published the first CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report (CHDIR). This report examined health disparities in the United States associated with various characteristics, including race/ethnicity, sex, income, education, disability status, and geography. Health disparities were defined as "differences in health outcomes and their determinants between segments of the population, as defined by social, demographic, environmental, and geographic attributes". Among other recommendations, the 2011 CHDIR emphasized the need to address health disparities with a dual intervention strategy focused on populations at greatest need and on improving the health of the U.S. population by making interventions available to everyone. The 2013 CHDIR updated the 2011 CHDIR and included additional reports on social and environmental determinants of health; the supplement emphasized the importance of multisectoral collaboration, highlighting the need for a comprehensive, community-driven approach to reducing health disparities in the United States. A follow-up report described five interventions that were shown to be effective or demonstrated promise for reducing health disparities. These publications have focused attention on the need to address health disparities in the United States, as well as on programs and interventions that address them. This supplement describes additional interventions that address particular disparities observed by race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic location, disability, and/or sexual orientation across a range of conditions, including asthma, infection with HIV and hepatitis A, use of colorectal cancer screening, youth violence, food security, and health-related quality of life. PMID:26916567

  20. Joy of Nature, "Friluftsliv" Education and Self: Combining Narrative and Cultural-Ecological Approaches to Environmental Sustainability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gurholt, Kirsti Pedersen

    2014-01-01

    Autobiographies of prominent environmentalists describe that their early lives have been rich in personal experiences of nature. The early childhood experiences of philosopher and climber Arne Naess (1912-2009) inspired the development of deep ecology philosophy, which markedly influenced the emergence of Norwegian "friluftsliv"…

  1. The Sum of the Squares of the First "n" Natural Numbers: Two Different but Similar Approaches, and a Bonus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grima, Pere; Marco, Lluis

    2008-01-01

    This note presents two demonstrations of the known formula for the sum of squares of the first n natural numbers. One demonstration is based on geometrical considerations and the other one uses elementary integral calculus. Both demonstrations are very easy to understand, even for high school students, and may be good examples of how to explore…

  2. Using a Multicultural Approach to Teach Chemistry and the Nature of Science to Undergraduate Non-Majors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goff, Peter; Boesdorfer, Sarah B.; Hunter, William

    2012-01-01

    This research documents the creation, implementation, and evaluation of a novel chemistry curriculum. The curriculum allowed students to create theories situated in a variety of cultures while they investigated chemical phenomena central to all civilizations; it was a way of synthesizing chemistry, the history and nature of science, inquiry, and…

  3. New Tools and New Approaches to Improve the Assessment and Evaluation of Monitored Natural Attenuation of Organic Compoundsin Ground Water

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the years since publication of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. EPA technical protocols for evaluating Monitored Natural Attenuation, MNA had found widespread application to organic contaminants in ground water. These documents were issued more than a decade ago; the science has m...

  4. Emphasizing the History of Genetics in an Explicit and Reflective Approach to Teaching the Nature of Science: A Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Cody Tyler; Rudge, David Wÿss

    2016-01-01

    Science education researchers have long advocated the central role of the nature of science (NOS) for our understanding of scientific literacy. NOS is often interpreted narrowly to refer to a host of epistemological issues associated with the process of science and the limitations of scientific knowledge. Despite its importance, practitioners and…

  5. Devising an Instrument for Determining Students' Preparedness for an Education through Science Learning Approach within the Topic of Natural Hazards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cerulli, D.; Holbrook, J.; Mander, Ü.

    2016-01-01

    As global average temperatures rise, there has been an increase in the frequency and magnitude of meteorological natural hazards. To survive in the world and thrive in the work place, students need to utilize educational skills (such as creative thinking, non-routine problem solving, collaboration and systems thinking) and become independent…

  6. Candidate soil indicators for monitoring the progress of constructed wetlands toward a natural state: a statistical approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stapanian, Martin A.; Adams, Jean V.; Fennessy, M. Siobhan; Mack, John; Micacchion, Mick

    2013-01-01

    A persistent question among ecologists and environmental managers is whether constructed wetlands are structurally or functionally equivalent to naturally occurring wetlands. We examined 19 variables collected from 10 constructed and nine natural emergent wetlands in Ohio, USA. Our primary objective was to identify candidate indicators of wetland class (natural or constructed), based on measurements of soil properties and an index of vegetation integrity, that can be used to track the progress of constructed wetlands toward a natural state. The method of nearest shrunken centroids was used to find a subset of variables that would serve as the best classifiers of wetland class, and error rate was calculated using a five-fold cross-validation procedure. The shrunken differences of percent total organic carbon (% TOC) and percent dry weight of the soil exhibited the greatest distances from the overall centroid. Classification based on these two variables yielded a misclassification rate of 11% based on cross-validation. Our results indicate that % TOC and percent dry weight can be used as candidate indicators of the status of emergent, constructed wetlands in Ohio and for assessing the performance of mitigation. The method of nearest shrunken centroids has excellent potential for further applications in ecology.

  7. NATURAL GRADIENT EXPERIMENT ON SOLUTE TRANSPORT IN A SAND AQUIFER. 1. APPROACH AND OVERVIEW OF PLUME MOVEMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    A large-scale field experiment on natural gradient transport of solutes in groundwater has been conducted at a site in Borden, Ontario. Well-defined initial conditions were achieved by the pulse injection of 12 cu m of a uniform solution containing known masses of two inorganic t...

  8. High School Biology Students' Transfer of the Concept of Natural Selection: A Mixed-Methods Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pugh, Kevin J.; Koskey, Kristin L. K.; Linnenbrink-Garcia, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    The concept of natural selection serves as a foundation for understanding diverse biological concepts and has broad applicability to other domains. However, we know little about students' abilities to transfer (i.e. apply to a new context or use generatively) this concept and the relation between students' conceptual understanding and…

  9. Transfer of Nature of Science Understandings into Similar Contexts: Promises and Possibilities of an Explicit Reflective Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khishfe, Rola

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to (a) investigate the effectiveness of explicit nature of science (NOS) instruction in the context of controversial socioscientific issues and (b) explore whether the transfer of acquired NOS understandings, which were explicitly taught in the context of one socioscientific context, into other similar contexts…

  10. Leakage detection of Marcellus Shale natural gas at an Upper Devonian gas monitoring well: a 3-d numerical modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liwei; Anderson, Nicole; Dilmore, Robert; Soeder, Daniel J; Bromhal, Grant

    2014-09-16

    Potential natural gas leakage into shallow, overlying formations and aquifers from Marcellus Shale gas drilling operations is a public concern. However, before natural gas could reach underground sources of drinking water (USDW), it must pass through several geologic formations. Tracer and pressure monitoring in formations overlying the Marcellus could help detect natural gas leakage at hydraulic fracturing sites before it reaches USDW. In this study, a numerical simulation code (TOUGH 2) was used to investigate the potential for detecting leaking natural gas in such an overlying geologic formation. The modeled zone was based on a gas field in Greene County, Pennsylvania, undergoing production activities. The model assumed, hypothetically, that methane (CH4), the primary component of natural gas, with some tracer, was leaking around an existing well between the Marcellus Shale and the shallower and lower-pressure Bradford Formation. The leaky well was located 170 m away from a monitoring well, in the Bradford Formation. A simulation study was performed to determine how quickly the tracer monitoring could detect a leak of a known size. Using some typical parameters for the Bradford Formation, model results showed that a detectable tracer volume fraction of 2.0 × 10(-15) would be noted at the monitoring well in 9.8 years. The most rapid detection of tracer for the leak rates simulated was 81 days, but this scenario required that the leakage release point was at the same depth as the perforation zone of the monitoring well and the zones above and below the perforation zone had low permeability, which created a preferred tracer migration pathway along the perforation zone. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the time needed to detect CH4 leakage at the monitoring well was very sensitive to changes in the thickness of the high-permeability zone, CH4 leaking rate, and production rate of the monitoring well. PMID:25144442

  11. Bike Helmets and Black Riders: Experiential Approaches to Helping Students Understand Natural Hazard Assessment and Mitigation Issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, S. A.; Kley, J.; Hindle, D.; Friedrich, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    Defending society against natural hazards is a high-stakes game of chance against nature, involving tough decisions. How should a developing nation allocate its budget between building schools for towns without ones or making existing schools earthquake-resistant? Does it make more sense to build levees to protect against floods, or to prevent development in the areas at risk? Would more lives be saved by making hospitals earthquake-resistant, or using the funds for patient care? These topics are challenging because they are far from normal experience, in that they involve rare events and large sums. To help students in natural hazard classes conceptualize them, we pose tough and thought-provoking questions about complex issues involved and explore them together via lectures, videos, field trips, and in-class and homework questions. We discuss analogous examples from the students' experiences, drawing on a new book "Playing Against Nature, Integrating Science and Economics to Mitigate Natural Hazards in an Uncertain World". Asking whether they wear bicycle helmets and why or why not shows the cultural perception of risk. Individual students' responses vary, and the overall results vary dramatically between the US, UK, and Germany. Challenges in hazard assessment in an uncertain world are illustrated by asking German students whether they buy a ticket on public transportation - accepting a known cost - or "ride black" - not paying but risking a heavy fine if caught. We explore the challenge of balancing mitigation costs and benefits via the question "If you were a student in Los Angeles, how much more would you pay in rent each month to live in an earthquake-safe building?" Students learn that interdisciplinary thinking is needed, and that due to both uncertainties and sociocultural factors, no unique or right strategies exist for a particular community, much the less all communities. However, we can seek robust policies that give sensible results given

  12. Synthesis of the Danish Experience with Combating Nutrient Pollution of Surface Waters: The Old Regulatory Approach and a New Targeted Approach Utilising the Natural Attenuation Capacity in Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronvang, Brian; Windolf, Jørgen; Blicher-Mathiesen, Gitte; Tornbjerg, Henrik; Højberg, Anker; Rieman, Bo

    2016-04-01

    Excess nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) emissions to surface waters are a high priority environmental problem worldwide for protection of water resources in times of population growth and climate change. As clean water is a scarce resource the struggle for reducing nutrient emissions are an ongoing issue for many countries and regions. Since the mid1980s a wide range of national regulatory general measures have been implemented to reduce land based nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loadings of the Danish aquatic environment. These measures have addressed both point source emissions and emissions from diffuse sources especially from agricultural production. Following nearly 4 decades of combating nutrient pollution our surface waters such as lakes and estuaries are only slowly responding on the 50% reduction in N and 56% reduction in P. Therefore, the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive in Danish surface waters still call for further reductions of N and P loadings. Introduction of a new paradigm of targeted implemented measures was the proposed outcome of a Commission on Nature and Agriculture established by the Danish Government in 2013. Their White Book points to the need of increased growth and better environment through more targeted and efficient regulation using advanced technological mitigation methods that are implemented intelligently according to the local natural attenuation capacity for nutrients in the landscape. As a follow up a national consensus model for N was established chaining existing leaching, 3D groundwater and surface water models. The new model concept enables a calculation of the N dynamics and attenuation capacity within a scale of 15 km2. Moreover, several research projects have been conducted to investigate the effect of a suite of targeted mitigation measures such as restored natural wetlands, constructed wetlands, controlled drainage and intelligent buffer zones. The outcome of six Danish management plans for nutrient load

  13. Positive approach: Implications for the relation between number theory and geometry, including connection to Santilli mathematics, from Fibonacci reconstitution of natural numbers and of prime numbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johansen, Stein E.

    2014-12-01

    The paper recapitulates some key elements in previously published results concerning exact and complete reconstitution of the field of natural numbers, both as ordinal and as cardinal numbers, from systematic unfoldment of the Fibonacci algorithm. By this natural numbers emerge as Fibonacci "atoms" and "molecules" consistent with the notion of Zeckendorf sums. Here, the sub-set of prime numbers appears not as the primary numbers, but as an epistructure from a deeper Fibonacci constitution, and is thus targeted from a "positive approach". In the Fibonacci reconstitution of number theory natural numbers show a double geometrical aspect: partly as extension in space and partly as position in a successive structuring of space. More specifically, the natural numbers are shown to be distributed by a concise 5:3 code structured from the Fibonacci algorithm via Pascal's triangle. The paper discusses possible implications for the more general relation between number theory and geometry, as well as more specifically in relation to hadronic mathematics, initiated by R.M. Santilli, and also briefly to some other recent science linking number theory more directly to geometry and natural systems.

  14. Positive approach: Implications for the relation between number theory and geometry, including connection to Santilli mathematics, from Fibonacci reconstitution of natural numbers and of prime numbers

    SciTech Connect

    Johansen, Stein E.

    2014-12-10

    The paper recapitulates some key elements in previously published results concerning exact and complete reconstitution of the field of natural numbers, both as ordinal and as cardinal numbers, from systematic unfoldment of the Fibonacci algorithm. By this natural numbers emerge as Fibonacci 'atoms' and 'molecules' consistent with the notion of Zeckendorf sums. Here, the sub-set of prime numbers appears not as the primary numbers, but as an epistructure from a deeper Fibonacci constitution, and is thus targeted from a 'positive approach'. In the Fibonacci reconstitution of number theory natural numbers show a double geometrical aspect: partly as extension in space and partly as position in a successive structuring of space. More specifically, the natural numbers are shown to be distributed by a concise 5:3 code structured from the Fibonacci algorithm via Pascal's triangle. The paper discusses possible implications for the more general relation between number theory and geometry, as well as more specifically in relation to hadronic mathematics, initiated by R.M. Santilli, and also briefly to some other recent science linking number theory more directly to geometry and natural systems.

  15. Carbon export in the naturally iron-fertilized Kerguelen area of the Southern Ocean based on the 234Th approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Planchon, F.; Ballas, D.; Cavagna, A.-J.; Bowie, A. R.; Davies, D.; Trull, T.; Laurenceau, E.; Van Der Merwe, P.; Dehairs, F.

    2014-11-01

    The Kerguelen Plateau region in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean supports annually a large-scale phytoplankton bloom which is naturally fertilized with iron. As part of the second KErguelen Ocean and Plateau compared Study expedition (KEOPS2) in austral spring (October-November 2011), we examined upper-ocean Particulate Organic Carbon (POC) export using the 234Th approach. We aimed at characterizing the spatial and the temporal variability of POC export production at high productivity sites over and downstream the Kerguelen plateau. Export production is compared to a High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll area upstream of the plateau in order to assess the impact of iron-induced productivity on the vertical export of carbon. Deficits in 234Th activities relative to its parent nuclide 238U were observed at all stations in surface waters, indicating that scavenging by particles occurred during the early stages of the phytoplankton bloom. 234Th export was lowest at reference station R-2 (412 ± 134 dpm m-2 d-1) and highest inside a~permanent meander of the Polar Front (PF) at stations E (1995 ± 176 dpm m-2 d-1, second visit E-3) where a detailed time series was obtained as part of a~pseudo-lagrangian study. 234Th export over the central plateau was relatively limited at station A3 early (776 ± 171 dpm m-2 d-1, first visit A3-1) and late in the survey (993 ± 223 dpm m-2 d-1, second visit A3-2), but it was higher at high biomass stations TNS-8 (1372 ± 255 dpm m-2 d-1) and E-4W (1068 ± 208 dpm m-2 d-1) in waters which could be considered as derived from plateau. Limited 234Th export of 973 ± 207 dpm m-2 d-1 was also found in the northern branch of the Kerguelen bloom located downstream of the island, north of the PF (station F-L). The 234Th results support that Fe fertilization increased particle export in all iron fertilized waters. The impact was greatest in the recirculation feature (3-4 fold at 200 m depth), but more moderate over the central Kerguelen plateau

  16. Estimating radiological background using imaging spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Bernacki, Bruce E.; Schweppe, John E.; Stave, Sean C.; Jordan, David V.; Kulisek, Jonathan A.; Stewart, Trevor N.; Seifert, Carolyn E.

    2014-06-13

    Optical imaging spectroscopy is investigated as a method to estimate radiological background by spectral identification of soils, sediments, rocks, minerals and building materials derived from natural materials and assigning tabulated radiological emission values to these materials. Radiological airborne surveys are undertaken by local, state and federal agencies to identify the presence of radiological materials out of regulatory compliance. Detection performance in such surveys is determined by (among other factors) the uncertainty in the radiation background; increased knowledge of the expected radiation background will improve the ability to detect low-activity radiological materials. Radiological background due to naturally occurring radiological materials (NORM) can be estimated by reference to previous survey results, use of global 40K, 238U, and 232Th (KUT) values, reference to existing USGS radiation background maps, or by a moving average of the data as it is acquired. Each of these methods has its drawbacks: previous survey results may not include recent changes, the global average provides only a zero-order estimate, the USGS background radiation map resolutions are coarse and are accurate only to 1 km – 25 km sampling intervals depending on locale, and a moving average may essentially low pass filter the data to obscure small changes in radiation counts. Imaging spectroscopy from airborne or spaceborne platforms can offer higher resolution identification of materials and background, as well as provide imaging context information. AVIRIS hyperspectral image data is analyzed using commercial exploitation software to determine the usefulness of imaging spectroscopy to identify qualitative radiological background emissions when compared to airborne radiological survey data.

  17. Estimating radiological background using imaging spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernacki, Bruce; Schweppe, John E.; Stave, Sean; Jordan, David; Kulisek, Jonathan; Stewart, Trevor; Seifert, Carolyn

    2014-06-01

    Optical imaging spectroscopy is investigated as a method to estimate radiological background by spectral identification of soils, sediments, rocks, minerals and building materials derived from natural materials and assigning tabulated radiological emission values to these materials. Radiological airborne surveys are undertaken by local, state and federal agencies to identify the presence of radiological materials out of regulatory compliance. Detection performance in such surveys is determined by (among other factors) the uncertainty in the radiation background; increased knowledge of the expected radiation background will improve the ability to detect low-activity radiological materials. Radiological background due to naturally occurring radiological materials (NORM) can be estimated by reference to previous survey results, use of global 40K, 238U, and 232Th (KUT) values, reference to existing USGS radiation background maps, or by a moving average of the data as it is acquired. Each of these methods has its drawbacks: previous survey results may not include recent changes, the global average provides only a zero-order estimate, the USGS background radiation map resolutions are coarse and are accurate only to 1 km - 25 km sampling intervals depending on locale, and a moving average may essentially low pass filter the data to obscure small changes in radiation counts. Imaging spectroscopy from airborne or spaceborne platforms can offer higher resolution identification of materials and background, as well as provide imaging context information. AVIRlS hyperspectral image data is analyzed using commercial exploitation software to determine the usefulness of imaging spectroscopy to identify qualitative radiological background emissions when compared to airborne radiological survey data.

  18. Curcumin and Resveratrol as Promising Natural Remedies with Nanomedicine Approach for the Effective Treatment of Triple Negative Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Shindikar, Amol; Singh, Akshita; Nobre, Malcolm; Kirolikar, Saurabh

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have made considerable progress in last few decades in understanding mechanisms underlying pathogenesis of breast cancer, its phenotypes, its molecular and genetic changes, its physiology, and its prognosis. This has allowed us to identify specific targets and design appropriate chemical entities for effective treatment of most breast cancer phenotypes, resulting in increased patient survivability. Unfortunately, these strategies have been largely ineffective in the treatment of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Hormonal receptors lacking render the conventional breast cancer drugs redundant, forcing scientists to identify novel targets for treatment of TNBC. Two natural compounds, curcumin and resveratrol, have been widely reported to have anticancer properties. In vitro and in vivo studies show promising results, though their effectiveness in clinical settings has been less than satisfactory, owing to their feeble pharmacokinetics. Here we discuss these naturally occurring compounds, their mechanism as anticancer agents, their shortcomings in translational research, and possible methodology to improve their pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics with advanced drug delivery systems. PMID:27242900

  19. Curcumin and Resveratrol as Promising Natural Remedies with Nanomedicine Approach for the Effective Treatment of Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

    PubMed

    Shindikar, Amol; Singh, Akshita; Nobre, Malcolm; Kirolikar, Saurabh

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have made considerable progress in last few decades in understanding mechanisms underlying pathogenesis of breast cancer, its phenotypes, its molecular and genetic changes, its physiology, and its prognosis. This has allowed us to identify specific targets and design appropriate chemical entities for effective treatment of most breast cancer phenotypes, resulting in increased patient survivability. Unfortunately, these strategies have been largely ineffective in the treatment of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Hormonal receptors lacking render the conventional breast cancer drugs redundant, forcing scientists to identify novel targets for treatment of TNBC. Two natural compounds, curcumin and resveratrol, have been widely reported to have anticancer properties. In vitro and in vivo studies show promising results, though their effectiveness in clinical settings has been less than satisfactory, owing to their feeble pharmacokinetics. Here we discuss these naturally occurring compounds, their mechanism as anticancer agents, their shortcomings in translational research, and possible methodology to improve their pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics with advanced drug delivery systems. PMID:27242900

  20. Approaches by the US National Institutes of Health to support rigorous scientific research on dietary supplements and natural products.

    PubMed

    Kuszak, A J; Hopp, D C; Williamson, J S; Betz, J M; Sorkin, B C

    2016-03-01

    Mechanistic, clinical, and epidemiological research relevant to dietary supplements (DS) is supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The Office of Dietary Supplements and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health promote the development and appropriate use of rigorous and comprehensive DS analyses which are critical for research reproducibility, particularly when the investigational DS include chemically complex natural products with unclear mechanisms of action. PMID:26768111

  1. Teachers' Ideas about the Nature of Science: A Critical Analysis of Research Approaches and Their Contribution to Pedagogical Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guerra-Ramos, Maria Teresa

    2012-01-01

    This paper looks into research aimed to elicit teachers' ideas about science through the development of resources as questionnaires, problematic tasks and interviews. It is focused on how those ideas are conceptualised and how such conceptualisations have been reflected in the methodological approaches adopted and the advantages and disadvantages…

  2. The indirect nature of social motives: the relation of social approach and avoidance motives with likeability via extraversion and agreeableness.

    PubMed

    Nikitin, Jana; Freund, Alexandra M

    2015-02-01

    The current study tested assumptions derived from the whole-trait theory (Fleeson, 2012), which proposes a connection between personality and motivation. We hypothesized that individual differences in social approach and avoidance motives are associated with personality as observed by others. In addition, we expected that observed personality links social approach and avoidance motives to interpersonal outcomes. The sample was composed of 83 young adults (25.3% males, Mage  = 21.66 years) who had recently moved into a shared apartment. Roommates (N = 83; 50.6% males, Mage  = 22.83 years) evaluated the newcomers on Extraversion, Agreeableness, and likeability. Approach motives had an indirect positive effect on likeability through other-reported Extraversion and Agreeableness. Although avoidance motives had some negative effects on likeability mediated through low Extraversion, they were positively associated with Agreeableness. These results demonstrate the complexity of social approach and avoidance motives. Moreover, they highlight the importance of motivational factors for observed personality. PMID:24372488

  3. Approach-Avoidance and Happiness Indicators in Natural Environments: A Preliminary Analysis of the Stimulus Preference Coding System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Ashley J.; Bihm, Elson M.; Tavkar, Poonam; Sturmey, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Two studies assessed the reliability and utility of the Stimulus Preference Coding System (SPCS) to measure approach, avoidance, and happy and unhappy behaviors in persons with developmental disorders. Study 1 took place in an institutional setting. The nine participants were all adults with mental retardation and multiple associated disabilities.…

  4. Application of the BRAFO-tiered approach for benefit-risk assessment to case studies on natural foods.

    PubMed

    Watzl, Bernhard; Gelencsér, Eva; Hoekstra, Jeljer; Kulling, Sabine; Lydeking-Olsen, Eva; Rowland, Ian; Schilter, Benoît; van Klaveren, Jakob; Chiodini, Alessandro

    2012-11-01

    There is evidence that consumption of fish, especially oily fish, has substantial beneficial effects on health. In particular an inverse relationship of oily fish intake to coronary heart disease incidence has been established. These beneficial effects are ascribed to fish oil components including long chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. On the other hand it should be noted that oily fish also contains hazardous substances such as dioxins, PCBs and methylmercury. Soy consumption has been associated with potential beneficial and adverse effects. The claimed benefits include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease; osteoporosis, breast and prostate cancer whereas potential adverse effects include impaired thyroid function, disruption of sex hormone levels, changes in reproductive function and increased breast cancer risk The two cases of natural foods highlight the need to consider both risks and benefits in order to establish the net health impact associated to the consumption of specific food products. Within the Sixth Framework programme of the European Commission, the BRAFO project was funded to develop a framework that allows for the quantitative comparison of human health risks and benefits in relation to foods and food compounds. This paper describes the application of the developed framework to two natural foods, farmed salmon and soy protein. We conclude that the BRAFO methodology is highly applicable to natural foods. It will help the benefit-risk managers in selecting the appropriate dietary recommendations for the population. PMID:21338654

  5. Application of natural citric acid sources and their role on arsenic removal from drinking water: a green chemistry approach.

    PubMed

    Majumder, Santanu; Nath, Bibhash; Sarkar, Simita; Islam, Sk Mijanul; Bundschuh, Jochen; Chatterjee, Debashis; Hidalgo, Manuela

    2013-11-15

    Solar Oxidation and Removal of Arsenic (SORAS) is a low-cost non-hazardous technique for the removal of arsenic (As) from groundwater. In this study, we tested the efficiency of natural citric acid sources extracted from tomato, lemon and lime to promote SORAS for As removal at the household level. The experiment was conducted in the laboratory using both synthetic solutions and natural groundwater samples collected from As-polluted areas in West Bengal. The role of As/Fe molar ratios and citrate doses on As removal efficiency were checked in synthetic samples. The results demonstrate that tomato juice (as citric acid) was more efficient to remove As from both synthetic (percentage of removal: 78-98%) and natural groundwater (90-97%) samples compared to lemon (61-83% and 79-85%, respectively) and lime (39-69% and 63-70%, respectively) juices. The As/Fe molar ratio and the citrate dose showed an 'optimized central tendency' on As removal. Anti-oxidants, e.g. 'hydroxycinnamates', found in tomato, were shown to have a higher capacity to catalyze SORAS photochemical reactions compared to 'flavanones' found in lemon or lime. The application of this method has several advantages, such as eco- and user- friendliness and affordability at the household level compared to other low-cost techniques. PMID:23122734

  6. String pair production in non homogeneous backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolognesi, S.; Rabinovici, E.; Tallarita, G.

    2016-04-01

    We consider string pair production in non homogeneous electric backgrounds. We study several particular configurations which can be addressed with the Euclidean world-sheet instanton technique, the analogue of the world-line instanton for particles. In the first case the string is suspended between two D-branes in flat space-time, in the second case the string lives in AdS and terminates on one D-brane (this realizes the holographic Schwinger effect). In some regions of parameter space the result is well approximated by the known analytical formulas, either the particle pair production in non-homogeneous background or the string pair production in homogeneous background. In other cases we see effects which are intrinsically stringy and related to the non-homogeneity of the background. The pair production is enhanced already for particles in time dependent electric field backgrounds. The string nature enhances this even further. For spacial varying electrical background fields the string pair production is less suppressed than the rate of particle pair production. We discuss in some detail how the critical field is affected by the non-homogeneity, for both time and space dependent electric field backgrouds. We also comment on what could be an interesting new prediction for the small field limit. The third case we consider is pair production in holographic confining backgrounds with homogeneous and non-homogeneous fields.

  7. Holographic thermalization in a quark confining background

    SciTech Connect

    Ageev, D. S. Aref’eva, I. Ya.

    2015-03-15

    We study holographic thermalization of a strongly coupled theory inspired by two colliding shock waves in a vacuum confining background. Holographic thermalization means a black hole formation, in fact, a trapped surface formation. As the vacuum confining background, we considered the well-know bottom-up AdS/QCD model that provides the Cornell potential and reproduces the QCD β-function. We perturb the vacuum background by colliding domain shock waves that are assumed to be holographically dual to heavy ions collisions. Our main physical assumption is that we can make a restriction on the time of trapped surface formation, which results in a natural limitation on the size of the domain where the trapped surface is produced. This limits the intermediate domain where the main part of the entropy is produced. In this domain, we can use an intermediate vacuum background as an approximation to the full confining background. We find that the dependence of the multiplicity on energy for the intermediate background has an asymptotic expansion whose first term depends on energy as E{sup 1/3}, which is very similar to the experimental dependence of particle multiplicities on the colliding ion energy obtained from the RHIC and LHC. However, this first term, at the energies where the approximation of the confining metric by the intermediate background works, does not saturate the exact answer, and we have to take the nonleading terms into account.

  8. Family Background, Ethnicity, and Urban Delinquency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walberg, Herbert J.; And Others

    1974-01-01

    In a pilot study of about 400 public high school students in Chicago, four innovative approaches are employed to deal with previous research problems arising from the study of juvenile delinquency: specific, proximal measures of social background, multiple indexes of delinquency, anonymous self-reports of delinquency incidence, and parametric…

  9. A multi-scale qualitative approach to assess the impact of urbanization on natural habitats and their connectivity

    SciTech Connect

    Scolozzi, Rocco; Geneletti, Davide

    2012-09-15

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are often concurrent to land conversion and urbanization. Simple application of GIS-based landscape pattern indicators may be not sufficient to support meaningful biodiversity impact assessment. A review of the literature reveals that habitat definition and habitat fragmentation are frequently inadequately considered in environmental assessment, notwithstanding the increasing number of tools and approaches reported in the landscape ecology literature. This paper presents an approach for assessing impacts on habitats on a local scale, where availability of species data is often limited, developed for an alpine valley in northern Italy. The perspective of the methodology is multiple scale and species-oriented, and provides both qualitative and quantitative definitions of impact significance. A qualitative decision model is used to assess ecological values in order to support land-use decisions at the local level. Building on recent studies in the same region, the methodology integrates various approaches, such as landscape graphs, object-oriented rule-based habitat assessment and expert knowledge. The results provide insights into future habitat loss and fragmentation caused by land-use changes, and aim at supporting decision-making in planning and suggesting possible ecological compensation. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Many environmental assessments inadequately consider habitat loss and fragmentation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Species-perspective for defining habitat quality and connectivity is claimed. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Species-based tools are difficult to be applied with limited availability of data. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We propose a species-oriented and multiple scale-based qualitative approach. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Advantages include being species-oriented and providing value-based information.

  10. Development of Fourth Generation ABC Inhibitors from Natural Products: A Novel Approach to Overcome Cancer Multidrug Resistance.

    PubMed

    Karthikeyan, Subburayan; Hoti, Sugeerappa Laxmanappa

    2015-01-01

    Multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer caused due to overexpression of ABC drug transporters is a major problem in modern chemotherapy. Molecular investigations on MDR have revealed that the resistance is due to various transport proteins of the ABC superfamily which include Phosphoglycoprotein (P-gp/MDR1/ ABCB1), multidrug resistance-associated protein-1 (MRP1), and the breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP). They have been characterized functionally and are considered as major players in the development of MDR in cancer cells. These ATP-dependent transporter proteins cause MDR either by decreased uptake of the drug or increased efflux of the drug from the target organelles. Several MDR-reversing agents are being developed and are in various stages of clinical trials. The first three generations of ABC modulators such as quinine, verapamil, cyclosporine-A, tariquitor, PSC 833, LY335979, and GF120918 required to be administered in high doses to reverse MDR and were associated with adverse effects. Additionally, these modulators non-selectively inhibit ABC and adversely accumulate chemotherapeutic drugs in brain and kidney. Currently, research has stepped up towards reversing MDR by using natural products which exhibitted potential as chemosensitizers. Globally, there is a rich biodiversity of natural products which can be sourced for developing drugs. These products may provide more lead compounds with superior activity, foremost to the development of more effective therapies for MDR cancer cells. Here, we briefly review the status of natural products for reversing MDR modulators, and discuss the long term goal of MDR strategies in current clinical settings. PMID:25584696

  11. Beam induced backgrounds: CDF experience

    SciTech Connect

    Tesarek, R.J.; /Fermilab

    2008-05-01

    We summarize the experiences of the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) experiment in the presence of backgrounds originating from the counter circulating beams in the Fermilab Tevatron. These backgrounds are measured and their sources identified. Finally, we outline the strategies employed to reduce the effects of these backgrounds on the experiment.

  12. Function of minerals in the natural radioactivity level of Vaigai River sediments, Tamilnadu, India--spectroscopical approach.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, V; Paramasivam, K; Suresh, G; Jose, M T

    2014-01-01

    Using Gamma ray and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic techniques, level of natural radioactivity ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) and mineralogical characterization of Vaigai River sediments have been analyzed with the view of evaluating the radiation risk and its relation to available minerals. Different radiological parameters are calculated to know the entire radiological characterization. The average of activity concentrations and all radiological parameters are lower than the recommended safety limit. However, some sites are having higher radioactivity values than the safety limit. From the FTIR spectroscopic technique, the minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, orthoclase feldspar, kaolinite, gibbsite, calcite, montmorillonite and organic carbon are identified and they are characterized. The extinction co-efficient values are calculated to know the relative distribution of major minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, orthoclase feldspar and kaolinite. The calculated values indicate that the amount of quartz is higher than orthoclase feldspar, microcline feldspar and much higher than kaolinite. Crystallinity index is calculated to know the crystalline nature of quartz and the result indicates that the presence of ordered crystalline quartz in the present sediment. The role of minerals in the level of radioactivity is assessed by multivariate statistical analysis (Pearson's correlation and Cluster analysis). The statistical analysis confirms that the clay mineral kaolinite is the major factor than other major minerals to induce the important radioactivity variables such as absorbed dose rate and concentrations of (232)Th and (238)U. PMID:24001975

  13. A novel geotechnical/geostatistical approach for exploration and production of natural gas from multiple geologic strata, Phase 1. Volume 2, Geology and engineering

    SciTech Connect

    Overbey, W.K. Jr.; Reeves, T.K.; Salamy, S.P.; Locke, C.D.; Johnson, H.R.; Brunk, R.; Hawkins, L.

    1991-05-01

    This research program has been designed to develop and verify a unique geostatistical approach for finding natural gas resources. The project has been conducted by Beckley College, Inc., and BDM Engineering Services Company (BDMESC) under contract to the US Department of Energy (DOE), Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC). This section, Volume II, contains a detailed discussion of the methodology used and the geological and production information collected and analyzed for this study. A companion document, Volume 1, provides an overview of the program, technique and results of the study. In combination, Volumes I and II cover the completion of the research undertaken under Phase I of this DOE project, which included the identification of five high-potential sites for natural gas production on the Eccles Quadrangle, Raleigh County, West Virginia. Each of these sites was selected for its excellent potential for gas production from both relatively shallow coalbeds and the deeper, conventional reservoir formations.

  14. An Immunomics Approach to Schistosome Antigen Discovery: Antibody Signatures of Naturally Resistant and Chronically Infected Individuals from Endemic Areas

    PubMed Central

    Gaze, Soraya; Driguez, Patrick; Pearson, Mark S.; Mendes, Tiago; Doolan, Denise L.; Trieu, Angela; McManus, Donald P.; Gobert, Geoffrey N.; Periago, Maria Victoria; Correa Oliveira, Rodrigo; Cardoso, Fernanda C.; Oliveira, Guilherme; Nakajima, Rie; Jasinskas, Al; Hung, Chris; Liang, Li; Pablo, Jozelyn; Bethony, Jeffrey M.; Felgner, Philip L.; Loukas, Alex

    2014-01-01

    Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that is responsible for almost 300,000 deaths annually. Mass drug administration (MDA) is used worldwide for the control of schistosomiasis, but chemotherapy fails to prevent reinfection with schistosomes, so MDA alone is not sufficient to eliminate the disease, and a prophylactic vaccine is required. Herein, we take advantage of recent advances in systems biology and longitudinal studies in schistosomiasis endemic areas in Brazil to pilot an immunomics approach to the discovery of schistosomiasis vaccine antigens. We selected mostly surface-derived proteins, produced them using an in vitro rapid translation system and then printed them to generate the first protein microarray for a multi-cellular pathogen. Using well-established Brazilian cohorts of putatively resistant (PR) and chronically infected (CI) individuals stratified by the intensity of their S. mansoni infection, we probed arrays for IgG subclass and IgE responses to these antigens to detect antibody signatures that were reflective of protective vs. non-protective immune responses. Moreover, probing for IgE responses allowed us to identify antigens that might induce potentially deleterious hypersensitivity responses if used as subunit vaccines in endemic populations. Using multi-dimensional cluster analysis we showed that PR individuals mounted a distinct and robust IgG1 response to a small set of newly discovered and well-characterized surface (tegument) antigens in contrast to CI individuals who mounted strong IgE and IgG4 responses to many antigens. Herein, we show the utility of a vaccinomics approach that profiles antibody responses of resistant individuals in a high-throughput multiplex approach for the identification of several potentially protective and safe schistosomiasis vaccine antigens. PMID:24675823

  15. Background issues for defensive interceptors

    SciTech Connect

    Canavan, G.H.

    1991-03-01

    Mean nuclear backgrounds are large, but are arguably amenable to frame-to-frame subtraction. Striated backgrounds on the sensors for defensive interceptors could, however, cause clutter leak-through, which could make detection and track difficult. Nominal motions and backgrounds give signal to clutter ratios too low to be useful. Clutter leakage due to line-of-sight drift can be reduced by stabilizing the line of sight around the background clutter itself. Current interceptors have detector arrays large enough for operation independent of nuclear backgrounds in their fields of view. 6 refs., 2 figs.

  16. Role of Induced Magnetic Field on Transient Natural Convection Flow in a Vertical Channel: The Riemann Sum Approximation Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jha, B. K.; Sani, I.

    2015-02-01

    This paper investigates the role of induced magnetic field on a transient natural convection flow of an electrically conducting, incompressible and viscous fluid in a vertical channel formed by two infinite vertical parallel plates. The transient flow formation inside the channel is due to sudden asymmetric heating of channel walls. The time dependent momentum, energy and magnetic induction equations are solved semi-analytically using the Laplace transform technique along with the Riemann-sum approximation method. The solutions obtained are validated by comparisons with the closed form solutions obtained for the steady states which have been derived separately and also by the implicit finite difference method. Graphical results for the temperature, velocity, induced magnetic field, current density, and skin-friction based on the semi-analytical solutions are presented and discussed.

  17. A Comparative Study on Physical Vulnerability of Urban Area against Natural Hazards: Importance of Health Promoting Approach in Civil Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Ahadnezhad Reveshty, Mohsen; Kamelifar, Mohammad Javad; Ranjbarnia, Behzad; Pashaiifar, Alireza

    2014-01-01

    Background: Estimation of urban vulnerability to earthquakes can be consid­ered as an Ill-structured problem in urban in both unplanned and planned areas. Multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) provides a way to integrate different spatial data layers in a geographic information system to create composite maps representing risk. We utilized MCE in a raster Geographic Information System (GIS) to evaluate risk in vulnerable tissues of Tabriz, Iran zone. Methods: In this MCE physical risk factors and sub-factors were included and were weighted by experts. Afterward data entered to GIS and then the layers of the criteria were exported. The obtained results were entered to IDRISI and fuzzified. Ultimately the final map of physical vulnerability was outputted by overlaying order. Results: Vulnerable tissues are highly consistent to non-official areas. However, the planned area which is called Valiasr is in low risky condition and this condition is desirable in crisis times. Here, we observe the preference of physical pre-planning operations. Conclusion: The links between urban planning and health are many and varied. Environmental, social and economic conditions in cities can have both positive and negative influences on human health and centre. Urban planning and related professions play an important role in shaping those conditions. PMID:25097846

  18. Model-based target and background characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, Markus; Krueger, Wolfgang; Heinze, Norbert

    2000-07-01

    Up to now most approaches of target and background characterization (and exploitation) concentrate solely on the information given by pixels. In many cases this is a complex and unprofitable task. During the development of automatic exploitation algorithms the main goal is the optimization of certain performance parameters. These parameters are measured during test runs while applying one algorithm with one parameter set to images that constitute of image domains with very different domain characteristics (targets and various types of background clutter). Model based geocoding and registration approaches provide means for utilizing the information stored in GIS (Geographical Information Systems). The geographical information stored in the various GIS layers can define ROE (Regions of Expectations) and may allow for dedicated algorithm parametrization and development. ROI (Region of Interest) detection algorithms (in most cases MMO (Man- Made Object) detection) use implicit target and/or background models. The detection algorithms of ROIs utilize gradient direction models that have to be matched with transformed image domain data. In most cases simple threshold calculations on the match results discriminate target object signatures from the background. The geocoding approaches extract line-like structures (street signatures) from the image domain and match the graph constellation against a vector model extracted from a GIS (Geographical Information System) data base. Apart from geo-coding the algorithms can be also used for image-to-image registration (multi sensor and data fusion) and may be used for creation and validation of geographical maps.

  19. Natural resource management in a protected area of the Indian Himalayas: a modeling approach for anthropogenic interactions on ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Nautiyal, Sunil; Kaechele, Harald

    2009-06-01

    The concept of ecosystem conservation as a broad theme came into existence during the 1970s under the Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Indian Government followed this approach and chose the method to segregate the landscape for conservation of the ecosystem as well as for the development of the local economy and its people. We have examined the effect of this policy and concurrently developed a theoretical modeling approach to understand how human behavior is changing under shifting political, socioeconomic and environmental conditions. A specific focus has been on how the landscape is changing in the mountains of the Indian Himalayan region where about 10% of the total geographical area is converted into protected landscape for conservation of biodiversity. For local people living in the Himalayan mountains in India, agriculture is the main land use activity and is strongly linked to the forests in providing sustainability. There are several branches in the rural ecosystems where the local people's economy was centered. These include agriculture, animal husbandry, medicinal and aromatic plants cultivation, forest resource collection, tourism and other occupations. The greatest proportion of the population was engaged in the agriculture sector, whose contribution is high in the rural economy (61%); followed by animal husbandry (19%), forest resource collection for economic gain (18%), and medicinal and aromatic plants cultivation (1.5%). However, three decades ago the animal husbandry branch of the rural ecosystem was contributing the maximum share towards rural household income (40%) followed by tourism (35.2%), and lastly agriculture (14%). The desire of farmers to secure the optimum output from agricultural land use has resulted in an increase for resource collection from the forests. The people's perception (n = 1,648) regarding overall changes occurring in the region was

  20. Virus fitness differences observed between two naturally occurring isolates of Ebola virus Makona variant using a reverse genetics approach.

    PubMed

    Albariño, César G; Guerrero, Lisa Wiggleton; Chakrabarti, Ayan K; Kainulainen, Markus H; Whitmer, Shannon L M; Welch, Stephen R; Nichol, Stuart T

    2016-09-01

    During the large outbreak of Ebola virus disease that occurred in Western Africa from late 2013 to early 2016, several hundred Ebola virus (EBOV) genomes have been sequenced and the virus genetic drift analyzed. In a previous report, we described an efficient reverse genetics system designed to generate recombinant EBOV based on a Makona variant isolate obtained in 2014. Using this system, we characterized the replication and fitness of 2 isolates of the Makona variant. These virus isolates are nearly identical at the genetic level, but have single amino acid differences in the VP30 and L proteins. The potential effects of these differences were tested using minigenomes and recombinant viruses. The results obtained with this approach are consistent with the role of VP30 and L as components of the EBOV RNA replication machinery. Moreover, the 2 isolates exhibited clear fitness differences in competitive growth assays. PMID:27366976

  1. Toward a novel theoretical approach for determining the nature of electronic excitations in quasi-two-dimensional systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Politano, A.; Chiarello, G.; Cupolillo, A.

    2015-08-01

    The discovery of quasi-two-dimensional (Q2D) crystals has started a new era of materials science. Novel materials, atomically thin and mechanically, thermally and chemically stable, with a large variety of electronic properties are available and they can be assembled in ultrathin flexible devices. Understanding collective electronic excitations (plasmons) in Q2D systems is mandatory for engineering applications in plasmonics. In view of recent developments in the emerging field of graphene-based plasmonics, the correspondence between the theoretically calculated quantities and the observables experimentally measured in Q2D crystals is still unsatisfactory. Motivated by recent Nazarov’s findings (Nazarov 2015 New J. Phys. 17 073018), here we discuss some crucial issues of current theoretical approaches as well as the computational methods applied to two-dimensional materials with special emphasis to cover their peculiarities, range of application and pitfalls.

  2. The event bush as a semantic-based numerical approach to natural hazard assessment (exemplified by volcanology)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pshenichny, C. A.; Nikolenko, S. I.; Carniel, R.; Vaganov, P. A.; Khrabrykh, Z. V.; Moukhachov, V. P.; Akimova-Shterkhun, V. L.; Rezyapkin, A. A.

    2009-05-01

    The event bush is a new formalism for organizing knowledge in various fields of geoscience, particularly suitable for hazard assessment purposes. Acting as an intermediary between expert knowledge and the well-established field of Bayesian belief networks, the event bush allows at the same time a variety of other applications, linking geoscientific knowledge to the field of artificial intelligence and uniting probabilistic, deterministic, and fuzzy approaches. In this paper, we present basic principles, mathematical formulation, guidelines for application, and examples, including the connection with Bayesian belief networks. Further development of the method will include spatial and temporal modelling, implementation in mapping in GIS medium, formalization by means of predicate logic, definition of variable states in BBNs by membership functions based on the event bush semantics, and other applications.

  3. Using multibiomarker approach as a tool to improve the management plan for a Private Reserve of Natural Heritage (RPPN).

    PubMed

    da Silva, Manuela Dreyer; Rossi, Stéfani Cibele; Ghisi, Nédia de Castilhos; de Oliveira Ribeiro, Ciro Alberto; Cestari, Marta Margarete; Silva de Assis, Helena Cristina

    2014-05-01

    This study aimed to monitor an aquatic ecosystem during two different periods (dry and rainy season) on a protected area located inside a sugarcane farm, using the fish Astyanax sp. as bioindicator. An integrated approach was adopted by combining the responses of well-known biomarkers: acetylcholinesterase, lipid peroxidation (LPO), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase (GST), micronucleus test, and liver histopathology. The activity of enzymes CAT and GST was increased after the rainy season. This can be explained mainly by the intensification of rain density, which drags substances into the streams, especially pesticides applied on agriculture. LPO and micronucleus test also suggested some effects of contamination in the surrounding area during this season. The results have supported a discussion about the effectiveness of protected areas in agricultural regions, emphasizing the biomonitoring as a tool for improving management plans in protected areas. PMID:24531322

  4. An Analytical Approach to Model Heterogonous Recrystallization Kinetics Taking into Account the Natural Spatial Inhomogeneity of Deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Haiwen; van der Zwaag, Sybrand

    2016-01-01

    The classical Johnson-Mehl-Avrami-Kolmogorov equation was modified to take into account the normal local strain distribution in deformed samples. This new approach is not only able to describe the influence of the local heterogeneity of recrystallization but also to produce an average apparent Avrami exponent to characterize the entire recrystallization process. In particular, it predicts that the apparent Avrami exponent should be within a narrow range of 1 to 2 and converges to 1 when the local strain varies greatly. Moreover, the apparent Avrami exponent is predicted to be insensitive to temperature and deformation conditions. These predictions are in excellent agreement with the experimental observations on static recrystallization after hot deformation in different steels and other metallic alloys.

  5. Quantifying rock's structural fabric: a multi-scale hierarchical approach to natural fracture systems and stochastic modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardebol, Nico; Bertotti, Giovanni; Weltje, Gert Jan

    2014-05-01

    We propose the description of fracture-fault systems in terms of a multi-scale hierarchical network. In most generic form, such arrangement is referred to as a structural fabric and applicable across the length scale spectrum. The statistical characterisation combines the fracture length and orientation distributions and intersection-termination relationships. The aim is a parameterised description of the network that serves as input in stochastic network simulations that should reproduce the essence of natural fracture networks and encompass its variability. The quality of the stochastically generated fabric is determined by comparison with deterministic descriptions on which the model parameterisation is based. Both the deterministic and stochastic derived fracture network description can serve as input in fluid flow or mechanical simulations that accounts explicitly for the discrete features and the response of the system can be compared. The deterministic description of our current study in the framework of tight gas reservoirs is obtained from coastal pavements that expose a horizontal slice through a fracture-fault network system in fine grained sediments in Yorkshire, UK. Fracture hierarchies have often been described at one observation scale as a two-tier hierarchy in terms of 1st order systematic joints and 2nd order cross-joints. New in our description is the bridging between km-sized faults with notable displacement down to sub-meter scale shear and opening mode fractures. This study utilized a drone to obtain cm-resolution imagery of pavements from ~30m altitude and the large coverage up to 1-km by flying at a ~80m. This unique set of images forms the basis for the digitizing of the fracture-fault pattern and helped determining the nested nature of the network as well as intersection and abutment relationships. Fracture sets were defined from the highest to lowest hierarchical order and probability density functions were defined for the length

  6. A principal stratification approach for evaluating natural direct and indirect effects in the presence of treatment-induced intermediate confounding.

    PubMed

    Taguri, Masataka; Chiba, Yasutaka

    2015-01-15

    Recently, several authors have shown that natural direct and indirect effects (NDEs and NIEs) can be identified under the sequential ignorability assumptions, as long as there is no mediator-outcome confounder that is affected by the treatment. However, if such a confounder exists, NDEs and NIEs will generally not be identified without making additional identifying assumptions. In this article, we propose novel identification assumptions and estimators for evaluating NDEs and NIEs under the usual sequential ignorability assumptions, using the principal stratification framework. It is assumed that the treatment and the mediator are dichotomous. We must impose strong assumptions for identification. However, even if these assumptions were violated, the bias of our estimator would be small under typical conditions, which can be easily evaluated from the observed data. This conjecture is confirmed for binary outcomes by deriving the bounds of the bias terms. In addition, the advantage of our estimator is illustrated through a simulation study. We also propose a method of sensitivity analysis that examines what happens when our assumptions are violated. We apply the proposed method to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. PMID:25312003

  7. Designer's approach for scene selection in tests of preference and restoration along a continuum of natural to manmade environments.

    PubMed

    Hunter, MaryCarol R; Askarinejad, Ali

    2015-01-01

    It is well-established that the experience of nature produces an array of positive benefits to mental well-being. Much less is known about the specific attributes of green space which produce these effects. In the absence of translational research that links theory with application, it is challenging to design urban green space for its greatest restorative potential. This translational research provides a method for identifying which specific physical attributes of an environmental setting are most likely to influence preference and restoration responses. Attribute identification was based on a triangulation process invoking environmental psychology and aesthetics theories, principles of design founded in mathematics and aesthetics, and empirical research on the role of specific physical attributes of the environment in preference or restoration responses. From this integration emerged a list of physical attributes defining aspects of spatial structure and environmental content found to be most relevant to the perceptions involved with preference and restoration. The physical attribute list offers a starting point for deciphering which scene stimuli dominate or collaborate in preference and restoration responses. To support this, functional definitions and metrics-efficient methods for attribute quantification are presented. Use of these research products and the process for defining place-based metrics can provide (a) greater control in the selection and interpretation of the scenes/images used in tests of preference and restoration and (b) an expanded evidence base for well-being designers of the built environment. PMID:26347691

  8. A computer aided thermodynamic approach for predicting the formation of Z-DNA in naturally occurring sequences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ho, P. S.; Ellison, M. J.; Quigley, G. J.; Rich, A.

    1986-01-01

    The ease with which a particular DNA segment adopts the left-handed Z-conformation depends largely on the sequence and on the degree of negative supercoiling to which it is subjected. We describe a computer program (Z-hunt) that is designed to search long sequences of naturally occurring DNA and retrieve those nucleotide combinations of up to 24 bp in length which show a strong propensity for Z-DNA formation. Incorporated into Z-hunt is a statistical mechanical model based on empirically determined energetic parameters for the B to Z transition accumulated to date. The Z-forming potential of a sequence is assessed by ranking its behavior as a function of negative superhelicity relative to the behavior of similar sized randomly generated nucleotide sequences assembled from over 80,000 combinations. The program makes it possible to compare directly the Z-forming potential of sequences with different base compositions and different sequence lengths. Using Z-hunt, we have analyzed the DNA sequences of the bacteriophage phi X174, plasmid pBR322, the animal virus SV40 and the replicative form of the eukaryotic adenovirus-2. The results are compared with those previously obtained by others from experiments designed to locate Z-DNA forming regions in these sequences using probes which show specificity for the left-handed DNA conformation.

  9. UV/Visible spectra of a series of natural and synthesised anthraquinones: experimental and quantum chemical approaches.

    PubMed

    Anouar, El Hassane; Osman, Che Puteh; Weber, Jean-Frédéric F; Ismail, Nor Hadiani

    2014-01-01

    Root decoctions of anthraquinone-containing plants are often taken as postpartum tonic and aphrodisiac. Anthraquinones are known for their diverse biological activities, especially antioxidant and anticancer. A series of 35 anthraquinones was generated by isolation from Rubiaceae plants and synthesis. Their UV/vis spectrum depends on the nature and relative positions of auxochromic substituents on the basic skeleton. To predict the maximum absorption bands for the current series of anthraquinones, excited sate calculations were performed using TD-DFT, CIS, ZINDO methods. The results showed that the use of PBE0 or its combination with B3LYP and B3P86 hybrid functionals are the most suitable to reproduce accurately the experimental λMAX. The structure-property relationships (SPRs) were established based on structural and electronic properties of the anthraquinones and showed (i) the importance of the number and position of OH groups and (ii) the positive contribution of the electrophilicity and hardness as electronic descriptors on position and amplitude of the maximum absorption bands. PMID:24851199

  10. Phytoplankton responses to natural ultraviolet irradiance during early spring in the Weddell-Scotia Confluence: An experimental approach

    SciTech Connect

    Ferreyra, G.A.; Schloss, E.R.; Neale, P.J.

    1994-12-31

    In the last few years, antarctic stratospheric ozone thinning has resulted in an increase of ultraviolet (UV)-B radiation incident on the southern ocean surface waters. Recent investigations have suggested that the enhanced UV-B can decrease areal primary production in the southern oceans, but the exact reduction remains controversial (6-12 percent, 0.12-0.33 percent). One factor that can reduce long-term exposure to UV radiation is vertical mixing of the water column. Furthermore, several internal mechanisms have been suggested as possible strategies to minimize cell damage. The synthesis of photoprotective substances could reduce deleterious effects on microalgae physiology. Most of the experimental research deployed until now has focused on short-term exposure effects and has not considered the influence of irradiance under mixing conditions of the water column. During the austral spring 1993 the long-term (days) effects of natural UV radiation on phytoplankton physiology was studied using fixed and variable UV filters. Primary productivity and synthesis of photoprotective substances were measured. 11 refs., 2 figs.

  11. Designer's approach for scene selection in tests of preference and restoration along a continuum of natural to manmade environments

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, MaryCarol R.; Askarinejad, Ali

    2015-01-01

    It is well-established that the experience of nature produces an array of positive benefits to mental well-being. Much less is known about the specific attributes of green space which produce these effects. In the absence of translational research that links theory with application, it is challenging to design urban green space for its greatest restorative potential. This translational research provides a method for identifying which specific physical attributes of an environmental setting are most likely to influence preference and restoration responses. Attribute identification was based on a triangulation process invoking environmental psychology and aesthetics theories, principles of design founded in mathematics and aesthetics, and empirical research on the role of specific physical attributes of the environment in preference or restoration responses. From this integration emerged a list of physical attributes defining aspects of spatial structure and environmental content found to be most relevant to the perceptions involved with preference and restoration. The physical attribute list offers a starting point for deciphering which scene stimuli dominate or collaborate in preference and restoration responses. To support this, functional definitions and metrics—efficient methods for attribute quantification are presented. Use of these research products and the process for defining place-based metrics can provide (a) greater control in the selection and interpretation of the scenes/images used in tests of preference and restoration and (b) an expanded evidence base for well-being designers of the built environment. PMID:26347691

  12. Image Discrimination Models for Object Detection in Natural Backgrounds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahumada, A. J., Jr.

    2000-01-01

    This paper reviews work accomplished and in progress at NASA Ames relating to visual target detection. The focus is on image discrimination models, starting with Watson's pioneering development of a simple spatial model and progressing through this model's descendents and extensions. The application of image discrimination models to target detection will be described and results reviewed for Rohaly's vehicle target data and the Search 2 data. The paper concludes with a description of work we have done to model the process by which observers learn target templates and methods for elucidating those templates.

  13. Diffuse Cosmic Infrared Background Radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwek, Eli

    2002-01-01

    The diffuse cosmic infrared background (CIB) consists of the cumulative radiant energy released in the processes of structure formation that have occurred since the decoupling of matter and radiation following the Big Bang. In this lecture I will review the observational data that provided the first detections and limits on the CIB, and the theoretical studies explaining the origin of this background. Finally, I will also discuss the relevance of this background to the universe as seen in high energy gamma-rays.

  14. Spatial UTA (S-UTA) - a new approach for raster-based GIS multicriteria suitability analysis and its use in implementing natural systems for wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Demesouka, O E; Vavatsikos, A P; Anagnostopoulos, K P

    2013-08-15

    The identification of sites for locating new natural systems for wastewater treatment (NSWT), such as stabilization ponds and constructed wetlands, should combine multiple crucial factors (environmental, design, social and economic), and thus the implementation of multicriteria decision-making (MCDM) methods is required. In addition, the spatial nature of the site selection process necessitates the use of geographic information systems (GISs) because they are unanimously recognized as the most appropriate tool capable of supporting sophisticated spatial decision making. The resulting multicriteria spatial decision support systems (MC-SDSSs) provide a consistent framework for dealing with conflicting objectives while integrating the decision makers' (DMs') preferences in spatially related patterns/problems. A map-based, interactive UTAII implementation is presented, which provides a link between a well-understood decision support method and exploratory geographic visualization. Spatial UTA (S-UTA) is applied in a real case study concerning the ranking of candidate sites for implementing natural systems for wastewater treatment in the Evros-Rodopi prefectures of northeastern Greece. Finally, the obtained results are compared with those derived using other MCDM approaches to evaluate the performance of S-UTA in GIS-based land use suitability analyses. PMID:23644589

  15. A new approach to monitoring the social environment for natural resource management and policy: The case of US national forest benefits and values

    SciTech Connect

    Bengston, D.N.; Fan, D.P.; Celarier, D.N.

    1999-07-01

    This paper describes a new approach for monitoring the social environmental for natural resource management and policy, based on content analysis of online news media stories. Content analysis of the media has repeatedly been shown to produce results that are closely correlated with attitude surveys and opinion polls. Computer methods were used to analyze almost 30,000 online news stores about the US national forests for expressions of four broad categories of benefits and values. Recreational benefits and values were expressed more often than other categories, both at the national and regional levels, followed by commodity, ecological and moral/spiritual/aesthetic benefits and values. Over the years 1992 through 1996, a gradual upward trend was found in expressions of recreation and moral/spiritual/aesthetic benefits and values and a gradual downward trend was found in expressions of commodity-related benefits and values at the national level, suggesting shifting environmental values and the need to ensure that natural resource management and policy are responsive to changing social values. Computer content analysis of online news stories provides a new method for the continuous monitoring and assessment of a broad range of trends in the social environment in which natural resource decision making takes place.

  16. Molecular Individual-Based Approach on Triatoma brasiliensis: Inferences on Triatomine Foci, Trypanosoma cruzi Natural Infection Prevalence, Parasite Diversity and Feeding Sources

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Carlos Eduardo; Faucher, Leslie; Lavina, Morgane; Costa, Jane; Harry, Myriam

    2016-01-01

    We used an individual-based molecular multisource approach to assess the epidemiological importance of Triatoma brasiliensis collected in distinct sites and ecotopes in Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil. In the semi-arid zones of Brazil, this blood sucking bug is the most important vector of Trypanosoma cruzi—the parasite that causes Chagas disease. First, cytochrome b (cytb) and microsatellite markers were used for inferences on the genetic structure of five populations (108 bugs). Second, we determined the natural T. cruzi infection prevalence and parasite diversity in 126 bugs by amplifying a mini-exon gene from triatomine gut contents. Third, we identified the natural feeding sources of 60 T. brasiliensis by using the blood meal content via vertebrate cytb analysis. Demographic inferences based on cytb variation indicated expansion events in some sylvatic and domiciliary populations. Microsatellite results indicated gene flow between sylvatic and anthropic (domiciliary and peridomiciliary) populations, which threatens vector control efforts because sylvatic population are uncontrollable. A high natural T. cruzi infection prevalence (52–71%) and two parasite lineages were found for the sylvatic foci, in which 68% of bugs had fed on Kerodon rupestris (Rodentia: Caviidae), highlighting it as a potential reservoir. For peridomiciliary bugs, Galea spixii (Rodentia: Caviidae) was the main mammal feeding source, which may reinforce previous concerns about the potential of this animal to link the sylvatic and domiciliary T. cruzi cycles. PMID:26891047

  17. Application of a multi-method approach in characterization of natural aquatic colloids from different sources along Huangpu River in Shanghai, China.

    PubMed

    Yan, Caixia; Nie, Minghua; Lead, Jamie R; Yang, Yi; Zhou, Junliang; Merrifield, Ruth; Baalousha, Mohammed

    2016-06-01

    Natural colloid properties and the impact of human activities on these properties are important considerations for studies seeking to understand the fate and transport of pollutants. In this study, the relationship between size and fluorescence properties of natural colloids from 4 different sources were quantified using a multi-method analytical approach including UV-visible and fluorescence spectroscopy, flow field flow fractionation (FlFFF) coupled online to fluorescence spectrometer, and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Results indicate that colloids from pristine natural river water have higher aromaticity and humification, higher fluorescent intensity, and smaller size compared to those from the rivers impacted by livestock. The majority of colloids are smaller than 10nm in size as measured by AFM and FlFFF. Colloid size measured by FlFFF coupled to fluorescence spectroscopy increases in the order peak C (Ex/Em at 300-340/400-460nm)

  18. Transfer of Nature of Science Understandings into Similar Contexts: Promises and Possibilities of an Explicit Reflective Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khishfe, Rola

    2013-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to (a) investigate the effectiveness of explicit nature of science (NOS) instruction in the context of controversial socioscientific issues and (b) explore whether the transfer of acquired NOS understandings, which were explicitly taught in the context of one socioscientific context, into other similar contexts (familiar and unfamiliar) was possible. Participants were 10th grade students in two intact sections at one high school. The treatment involved teaching a six-week unit about genetic engineering. For one group (non-NOS group), there was no explicit instruction about NOS. For the other group (NOS group), explicit instruction about three NOS aspects (subjective, empirical, and tentative) was dispersed across the genetic engineering unit. A questionnaire including two open-ended scenarios, in conjunction with semi-structured interviews, was used to assess the change in participants' understandings of NOS and their ability to transfer their acquired understandings into similar contexts. The first scenario involved a familiar context about genetically modified food and the second one focused on an unfamiliar context about water fluoridation. Results showed no improvement in NOS understandings of participants in the non-NOS group in relation to the familiar and unfamiliar contexts. On the other hand, there was a general improvement in the NOS understandings of participants in the NOS group in relation to both the familiar and unfamiliar contexts. Implications about the transfer of participants' acquired NOS understandings on the basis of the distance between the context of learning and that of application are highlighted and discussed in link with the classroom learning environment.

  19. Complementary approaches to understanding the role of proteases and their natural inhibitors in neoplastic development: retrospect and prospect.

    PubMed

    Rubin, Harry

    2003-05-01

    A great deal of evidence has accumulated in recent years for an important but complex role for proteases in tumor development. However, attempts to treat cancer in humans with anti-proteases have been disappointing, and it has been suggested that more basic groundwork is needed before anti-proteases can be effectively applied. Considerable basic information comes from the recognition that earlier results on transformation of chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF) by the Bryan strain of Rous sarcoma virus (B-RSV) can be explained in terms of proteases and their inhibitors. In particular, the full but reversible normalization of discrete transformed foci by appropriate concentrations of fetal bovine or of calf serum implies a causal role for multiple proteases in transformation, and the efficacy of treatment with a physiological balance of their natural inhibitors. Addition of certain proteases to contact-inhibited normal cultures was then found to stimulate their proliferation. The toxicity of medium produced by CEF heavily transformed with B-RSV suggests that cachexia and other systemic effects of human cancer may result from vascular dissemination of peptides from pericellular proteolysis within tumors. Comprehensive studies revealed significant increases of plasminogen activator and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) after infection of CEF with other strains of RSV, and correlation of the proteases with aspects of transformation. A similar role for proteases is indicated in the transformation of mammalian cells by chemical and physical agents. The information gained from functional experiments on cell transformation in culture is complementary to that obtained from the molecular identification of proteases and their inhibitors in all stages of tumor development. The speed, quantification and easy manipulation of the RSV-CEF transformation assay can be combined with current methods of characterizing proteases and anti-proteases to further enrich our basic knowledge of

  20. An ecological approach supporting the management of sea-uses and natural capital in marine coastal areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcelli, Marco; Carli, Filippo M.; Bonamano, Simone; Frattarelli, Francesco; Mancini, Emanuele; Paladini de Mendoza, Francesco; Peviani, Maximo; Piermattei, Viviana

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of our work is to create a multi-layer map of marine areas and adjacent territories (SeaUseMap), which takes into account both the different sea uses and the value of marine ecosystems, calculated on the basis of services and benefits produced by the different biocenosis. Marine coastal areas are characterized by the simultaneous presence of ecological conditions favorable to life and, at the same time, they are home to many human activities of particular economic relevance. Ecological processes occurring in coastal areas are particularly important and when we consider their contribution to the value of the "natural capital" (Costanza et Al. 1997, 2008, 2014), we can observe that this is often higher than the contribution from terrestrial ecosystems. Our work is done in northern Lazio (Civitavecchia), a highly populated area where many uses of the sea are superimposed: tourism, fisheries, industry, shipping and ports, historical and cultural heritage. Our goal is to create a tool to support decision-making, where ecosystem values and uses of the sea can be simultaneously represented. The ecosystem values are calculated based on an analysis of benthic biocoenoses: the basic ecological units that, in the Mediterranean Sea, have been identified, defined, analyzed and used since the 60s (Perez & Picard 1964) to date as a working tool (Boudouresque & Fresi 1976). Land surface, instead, was analyzed from available maps, produced within the Corine Land Cover project. Some application examples to support the decision-making are shown, with particular reference to the localization of suitable areas for wave energy production and the esteem of ecological damages generated in case of maritime accidents (e.g., Costa Concordia). According to Costanza 2008, we have developed our own operational method, which is suitable for this specific case of benefit assessment from benthic communities. In this framework, we base our strategy on the ability of the benthic